Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Joplin Rags

The music of Scott Joplin evokes this incredible nostalgia for me, a longing for the irretrievable past.

It's completely irrational, and probably a conditioned response. Joplin's music has been used extensively in movies and on TV to represent late 19th/early 20th-century America.

I've always had a special fondness for a couple of his tunes, like "Solace."

(This version of "Solace" is not, I don't think, played by a sentient being on a real instrument. It's all MIDI. As such, it has the emotional depth of a carburetor. But you get the idea.)

I love Scott Joplin, though, and have been on a Joplin kick for the last week or so. This happens to me every few years. "Solace" is such a beautiful piece of music.

Some time back, I edited video of my son, shot when he was about three. I used Joplin's "Bethena" as the soundtrack. It damn near brings tears to my eyes when I watch it now. Talk about the irretrievable past! There's my kid, still at his most innocent, running around a college campus we lived near at the time. He and I ventured into an empty building (it was on a weekend) and he runs around playing. Joplin's music perfectly complements these activities.

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