What goes well with classical music? by David Crews

crews_photoI’ve always been intrigued by the way music can pair with and blend, alter, or enhance movies and plays (and, of course, operas and musicals). Today, I write and perform music for television commercials and programs and some films, and it is fun to direct that “pairing energy” to accomplish a certain desired result.

When I was a very young lad, I wished I could have soundtrack music for my actual life – wonderful music of just the right mood to reflect, reinforce, or guide the events that are taking place or environments I’m experiencing in my every day life, as if it were a Hollywood movie. Long before the days of iPods, I thought it would be cool to have a small device that would play my “soundtracks” out loud, with buttons for each desired mood!

I remember being on vacations and trying to match the music with my sightseeing. There are the obvious ones, like playing the “Grand Canyon Suite” by Grofé while actually viewing the canyon, but I also remember being at Yosemite Valley and trying to back-time the cassette in my custom van (yes it was the ‘70’s) so that the big orchestral rush from the climax of Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe” ballet suites would occur just exactly as my van emerged from the tunnel to reveal the sublime and emotional view from “Inspiration Point.” It was a cinematic experience, but with real 3D!

Great music can transport you away all on its own, of course. When I come in to KMFA early on the weekends for my show, it is always a pleasure to have music that is appropriately paired for the morning moods. It might be a liturgical choral work, or maybe one of my favorite pastoral or impressionist pieces. Sometimes, I get so entrained by the music that I have to make myself pay attention to the upcoming announcements!

Classical music is simply the richest source of music that I can “take internally.”  By actively pairing with it, I respond to it and it reflects my life and my emotions. I can’t listen passively. It still amazes me to find a work that evokes an emotion or scene that was never otherwise described by anyone in music or poetry or prose. That’s the meaning of masterpiece to me, and it is what makes a work truly a classic, regardless of how well known it is.

Enjoy the soundtracks of your life!

David Crews, weekend Announcer

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