A Musical Independence Day

As I lay in bed yesterday morning prior to getting up, I started thinking about music representative of American Independence Day, and immediately John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever popped into my head.  When I overcame the inertia of the bed, I grabbed coffee and made my way to the internet, where Google’s Independence Day doodle popped up – I saw that it was the first in many days not to feature the World Cup.  I almost always ignore Google doodles, but since I’d had an Independence Day thought already, I was in the mood and decided to click play.  I was tickled that Google, too, thought of Sousa to mark the occasion.  I watched and listened along until the end as a little stick animation marched along patriotically – it was nice and clever, as the doodles always are.

After breakfast, I played my violin for about an hour.  I’m making progress on my two newest songs, Handel’s Chorus from Judas Maccabeus and a Bach tune called Musette.  I’m also still working on Gavotte by Gossec, and I’m committed to really making it sound good.  It’s quite challenging to be working that piece up while also working on new ones – Gavotte is long, so playing it takes a chunk of time!  I wonder how people ever manage to practice really long works – I guess I’ll cross that bridge in a few years.

My playing done, I laced up and donned my headphones to run along the lake with Rufus Wainwright in my ears.  Heading out I was tentative – was it going to finally be the day I could start running again without troubling my inner thigh, which I injured in a bike crash two weeks ago and has had me sidelined?  I’m happy to report that yes, it was indeed the day!  I ran, accompanied by Rufus, for about 2.5 miles – not my normal distance of at least 5, but I wanted to take it easy, having had to abort my first attempt back at it on Monday.  As I ran, blissfully, I processed a Rufus lyric that is truly lovely, from his song Poses, “Life is a game and true love is a trophy,” and I thought, “Ryan, you’re awfully young to have won at this game, and oh so lucky.”

A couple of hours later we headed off to a 4th of July barbecue on a friend’s gorgeous rooftop deck, where the late afternoon into night was accompanied by the confused but ardent sounds of the 1980s.  Our host told us she had recently revamped her 80s playlist and was going to be subjecting us to it.  Of course we’re all in our upper 30s/lower 40s mostly; we lived the 80s music the first time around, and there were no complaints.

So, there you have it – Independence Day 2014 was probably my most musical day in many years.

I have no idea why.

Thanks for reading.


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