2 September, 2007, 357 am
Filed under: Music, My Experience with Existence

My favourite instrument of all time is the vibraphone. I enjoy playing it because it’s flat, so you can play the accidentals in the middle of the bars instead of on the edges. You don’t have to worry all too much about playing on the nodes. I also love the pedal because it’s different. The vibraphone has a full, warm sound. It reminds me of “La Science des Rêves” for some reason.


Band in Lewisburg is different in all aspects from band in Richmond. Marching band in Richmond was life. We learned discipline, respect, technique. We feared our upperclassmen. There were cliques within band. When you stood at attention, you held your breath for fear of push-ups. In a parade, you dared not scratch your nose or look at the crowd or smile. Marching band in Richmond was big and professional and I was proud to say I was in the band because we were a competitive band and we won awards, and our pit kicked major ass thanks to the piston stroke and drilling of warm-ups. I lived for winter drumline because of Herce and how much fun he made it and how much we learned and improved. Marching band in Lewisburg is fun, and I like the people, but it’s relaxed. We’re good enough, but we’re not the Deep Run Wildcats by any stretch of the imagination. There is no discipline, no technique, no piston stroke. And it makes for a fairly ineffective method of teaching. I find myself enjoying band rather than fearing it because there are no consequences, but I can’t declare that I’m completely proud to say I’m a member of the LAHS band. We’re not competitive. We are what Mr. Ransome would use as an example of “What Not To Be.” I like our band, but looking at where I am now and where I came from, I feel like I am not valued. The pit’s parts are always brainlessly easy. I’m not good at sightreading, but I almost have every part of the music down. In the Deep Run band, learning music was a season-long project. It makes me sad and nostalgic. I play “Summertime” and “Rhythm Song” and “Green” every day, and people are impressed, but it’s not the same as when I had to play them. It’s weird that anyone would like the songs I used as warm-ups. Here are the videos (for perhaps the third time) from, in order, my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Note the mallet work for the last two years (especially the second year, ahhh!)–HOT! If I could thank Herce for one thing, I would thank him for writing us such diverse parts.

Anyhow, it’s September, and when I woke up, I was ecstatic because that means it’s almost fall. There’s a change that goes on from August 31 to September 1st. It gets gradually colder and the leaves change colour and the air smells different and you wear different clothes and the days get shorter and when you walk home from school, you can step in leaves, and it feels good and reminds me of childhood. The fall is my favourite season. It’s crisp and romantic and mysterious and generally amazing. And I’m excited for it to come.


Now for my top 5 favourite songs of all time!

1 – “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) by The Arcade Fire
Sarah Neufeld of The Arcade Fire
It’s beautiful. It’s every season all raveled into 4 minutes and 48 seconds that fly by way too fast. The piano is trickling water and the bass line is leaves falling and the guitar is snow and the drum is lying on the beach. When I heard it live, I thought I was going to pass out or cry. I wasn’t sure which. Everything is just phenomenal and romantic and nostalgic. This was the first dose of The Arcade Fire I ever had, and listening to it, I knew I’d like this band. I feel so infinite whenever I hear this song, and it completely defines the feeling of longing.

2 – “Look Up” by Stars
Amy Millan of Stars
I never liked the beginning too much, with the oboe or whatever, but Amy Millan’s voice is silky. I feel like someone should use this song for a movie trailer. If there was a movie about my life, this would definitely be in it. The chorus is my favourite part ever. It’s traveling to the moon and back or riding a bicycle on a sunny spring afternoon or having a picnic on the edge of a river. It’s like love that you missed out on, and you’re disappointed but ready to pick yourself back up again.

3 – “Your Heart is an Empty Room” by Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie
You know, no list of greatest songs is ever complete without some material from Death Cab or The Postal Service. A lot of what I listen to when I’m upset and when I’m intensely happy and even when I’m trying to sleep is Death Cab. I love the “atmospheric” guitar in this song, and the steadiness of the drum and the bass. It all carries itself even without Ben Gibbard’s voice. The lyrics are some of my favourites, too; they can make me cry or feel gratitude, but they always make me feel infinite.

4 – “Melt Your Heart” by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Jenny Lewis has this strange influence over my life that I can’t describe. Erika warned me that “Relationship-ing While Rilo Kiley” (RWRK) is dangerous. I feel like Jenny Lewis singing about jumping off a building could make me want to do that. Anyhow, this song is safe because it’s generally about keeping yourself healthy and in check, keeping your morals straight and not sacrificing your wants. It’s so mellow and calm.

5 – “Let Go” by Frou Frou
Imogen Heap of Frou Frou
I first heard “Let Go” on the soundtrack for Garden State, which I owned and loved before I even saw the movie. It’s probably the perfect “critical thinking” song, and it’s very intellectual. There’s something romantic and flowing about it, and it keeps you intrigued. I also loved its use in the movie. I loved every song’s use in that movie, as it was an excellent movie and sometimes the soundtrack makes the movie, but it’s blooming love that’s fallen apart, and you don’t know where to go next, but you know something’s gonna happen, just like the ending of the movie.

I know that none of these songs are new, but I figured I might as well establish that they’re my favourites.


2 Comments so far
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i know exactly what you mean abt the whole fall thingy…love it.

Comment by divya

Rythem Song…ahhh. Amazing show, I must say. I miss it a lot too..

Comment by Laura

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