Nature’s singers join the great orchestra at Tanglewood Music Festival

Audience members under the shed roof, and outside on the grass at the Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkeshires of Massachussetts (Koussevitzsky Music Shed)

About five or so years ago, my husband and I had the joy of attending the concerts at the well-known Tanglewood Music Festival in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.  Tanglewood is the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and is an open-air shed, covered by a roof, but no walls on its sides. Continue reading

Self-soothing with the five senses

Five_sensesDialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral  therapy used for the treatment of various illnesses and behavioral challenges from depression, to anxiety, anger/irritability, to bipolar disorder symptoms, personality disorders, and more. This therapy features various coping techniques to deal with these challenges falling under modules such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness (click DBT therapy for more information). In this post I’d like to focus on the distress tolerance skill “Self-soothing with the five senses”, and how I’ve used it in the past. Continue reading

Quoting portions of earlier music – A comparison

music photo

Musical quotation (directly quoting portions of another work in a new composition) has been a common practice throughout much of the history of music. For example, composers like Mozart frequently quoted portions of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, such as in his Piano Concerto No. 12. Richard Strauss quoted the funeral march from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony No. 3 in his Metamophosen for 23 solo strings. Continue reading

Beethoven’s musical flight of ideas

Beethoven collage

Several months ago my husband and I received the annual music program from the local university in my town. We are very lucky that we live in a town with a university that attracts some of the best classical musicians and other artists in the world. This year the main focus was on Beethoven String Quartets, played by the Takács Quartet. The last of the performances focused on his later string quartets including the well-known Grosse Fuge Op. 133. Just imagine Beethoven at this time in 1825, already deaf, but music playing on and on in his genius head. Imagine him walking down the streets of Vienna talking to himself and humming the music, even conducting as he went along. Continue reading