Excerpts from “The Sound I Felt” …
“…man is a musical being. His origin is in the spoken Word. By sound was he sustained and by music he evolved. One day he will recognize music as a vital factor in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual evolution of the whole human race.” ~ Corinne Heline (1882-1975)
The first sound I remember was my father humming the song that he wrote for me entitled “Jannat “. It became a song that represented a musical score written in grace notes giving me a deeper understanding of my life and freedom. This song let the world know what it feels like and means to be me. When I listen to the song in my heart, the notes become sounds on the page. When I listen carefully to my heart, the truth is I feel blessed and loved.”
This year my only wish is to dance with my father again. The sunrise cast a warm glow/ through my picture window that Sunday morning. My father was sitting at the piano in our living room. He was my five a.m. wake up call. I would hear dulcet tones sending a breath of notes across my mind to the beat of my existence. It was a series of riffs and changes with syncopated harmonic intent. It had a rhythm that majestically brought a sense of devotion to each note. The sound of him hitting each piano key gave the house a mystery, improvising life — setting our house apart from the rest of the houses on Wilton Place.
We had two pianos in our home, the second piano was in our family room. Dad was sitting at the piano in our family room. He designed the layout for the family room lined with walnut walls with speakers that spanned from ceiling from the floor. There was a pool table that could be converted to a ping-pong table. There was a white marble table with four orange modern style chairs, where our home schooling sessions took place. The floor was a speckled black and white with touches of orange marble floor. Glass doors leading to the patio and the backyard made the room panoramic. The patio was covered in a pale yellow awning covering stone slates in pastel cream and salmon hues. The backyard was bordered with a tall bamboo style fence creating privacy with lots of beautiful trees – avocado, orange, lemon and apple that all are in bloom. It was early February and the temperature was in the mid 60’s and slightly overcast. The phone rang around 2:00 pm and my father answered it.
It was Jimmy Lyons, one of the co-founders and an old friend of dad’s. Dad sounded delighted to hear from him and they chatted and laughed back and forth for over 45 minutes. After 35 minutes passed mom got up with me in tow are headed to the kitchen to get things ready for dinner. We waved at dad as we passed him sitting on his piano bench. Ten minutes later dad came running into the kitchen and said Honey, put the food away, I have great news, let’s order Chinese from Benny’s. Now for the pièce de résistance, Jimmy told me that Dizzy chose me to be the music director and coordinator for this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra! Mom was shocked and thrilled Wow, I wonder why Dizzy didn’t mention it when he was here last month when he was here?
Dad shrugged his shoulders I guess he wanted Jimmy to tell me. The excitement consumed the kitchen, my father ran over to my mom and lifted her in the air twirling her around. I stood watching delighted to see my parents so happy.
Then, dad turned towards me, now it’s your turn. He lifted me above his head and carried me into the family room. Mom turned on the radio to a preset jazz station that was playing my father’s arrangement for Dizzy “Shadow of Your Smile” . When I hear it today I remember dad loved teaching me how to dance by lifting and placing my feet on top of his and he would move with such grace. It felt as though I was airborne carried by some magical and whimsical spirit. It was heavenly. When the song finished and we plopped onto the mod printed couch next to mom was knitting. Dad out of breath let’s go Jan and pick up dinner. Man it was a veritable movable feast…Seaweed Soup to start, Roast Duck, Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, Moo Shu pork, Fried rice, Steak Kew, Ribs, Shrimp Toast and Almond Cookies that melted in your mouth for dessert. What do you hear when you listen to this song? Peace Out!
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