In order to make my point here, I have to admit that I was listening to Christmas music in April. So, there you have it. Strange but true.
I was looking for a bit of inspiration on my drive home yesterday and went to a common source for such: Over The Rhine, one of my favorite bands. Their Christmas album, Snow Angels, was handy and dusty from lack of attention, so I pushed it into the CD player.
Don’t tell my wife, but as I drove and listened and searched, I spent several long moments reading the liner notes for the CD. I tried to do that only at stoplights, but my eyes couldn’t resist glancing to the pages even as I was driving.
The music didn’t provide the sought after inspiration, which is understandable for Christmas music in April, but as I finished reading the notes while parked at the curb in front of my home, I found one line, serendipitously, which has stuck in my thick skull:
“This music was designed to be played at magnificent volumes.”
I find, when using anything as a source of inspiration, it’s helpful to know the intent of the designer.
I like to listen to music at magnificent volumes, but sometimes I forget the value of the magnificence and absent-mindedly turn it down. On the other hand, I find I occasionally turn up the volume of things not designed for such magnificence.
This morning, as I walked out our front door and followed that rut to my car door, I was interrupted.
I was interrupted by my first recognition of Spring. The clamor of birdsong was overwhelming, sung by a nearly invisble chorus of highly talented vocalists ambushing me right there in my rut . . . at magnificent volumes.
I stopped and stared, then looked all around at the trees surrounding neighborhood homes searching for the elusive sources. Music filled my ears in stereo. At first it seemed dissonant, but after listening more carefully I realized the harmonies were subtle and complex, but beautiful.
How can such tiny creatures make such magnificently voluminous music? I don’t understand the physiology, but I’m guessing that’s part of their design.
Furthermore, I’m reminded, in contemplating such mysteries of inspiration, that I should be careful to avoid turning the volume too high on noises intended to be relegated to the inconsequential background of life.