I'm thinking about this phenomenon now. Those are the sorts of "extra-musical" moments that Kate Bush works into her compositions so well. By the time she had reached Aerial, she was doing that left and right. The cooing of morning doves is taken up by a human voice, for example; or hearing the digits of pi impells the composer to find the beauty of music in them. Music was given a space around it and an access to the world that was even more dangerously "un-pop." But I think critics hearkened. She was just being true to herself, which is something she has specialized in her entire life, right? Through the hallucinatory powers of music, those "extra-musical" moments become music. That always fascinates me, the way things like this happen in any art, where a moment outside is suddenly imported. No wonder people believed in alchemy for so long. There are transmutations. It's an interesting question, I think, how open to the world a work of art is.
I didn't find the Ives right away, but I serendipitously found this, performed by the BBC Symphony Ochestra.
I can see how Ives acted as an inspiration here. And I like what the composer accomplishes here, that spectral invocation of a parent.
I enjoy hauntings. This, like the Ives, is definitely a haunting. I like the way it's almost a haunting in the old sense of the word. There is an uncanny sense in music that moments can recur. Because they do seem to recur in music. That beautiful liar.
'"The Lake" is summer nocturne. Over the gently lapping sounds of the water distant lights glimmer and mosquitos hover. The Mount Washington, an old mailboat, emits a few lazy groans from its horn, prelude to a long, shakuhachi-like melody for the oboe. Far across the water the distant sound of a dance band floats off the dance hall pavilion, the Winnipesaukee Gardens owned and operated by my mother's stepfather. It was here that my father, playing clarinet in a visiting swing band, met my mother in the summer of 1935. I still have a picture of him sitting with the band, Ed Murphy's Orchestra, wearing white shoes and holding his clarinet in a relaxed pose.' - John Adams