Mother's column – Enjoying silent music


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Orchestra. Photo Unsplash, Diogo Nunes

Reinout has been a fan of the prologue of the "Jozef Oratorium". This is a piece of music composed by the Dutch organist Marco den Toom. When the trumpeters start playing, and the music swells to a climax, his hands are shaking with excitement already.

When the climax is there, he roars: "Nice! Nice!" And at the end, he always shouts: "Again!" Attempts to broaden his musical repertoire are still in vain. Although the music of Mendelssohn and Mozart is marvellous, it doesn't even come close to Marco den Toom.

Nevertheless, classical music has gained popularity in our home. That is mainly thanks to the board game Maestro. In this game, you have to collect musical instruments to perform classical pieces – via a QR code, you can play the music. The game was developed to stimulate the love for classical music.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

In the case of Martha, it clearly achieved its purpose. If I did not do anything about it, the house would be filled with music all day – at the highest volume. At the same time, Martha dances through the living room continually. She drags everything and everyone along in her enthusiasm.

She knows exactly how to find her favourite Maestro pieces on YouTube. Clearly, her preference lies with fast notes. Allegrettos get to play all day, while adagios are always fast-forwarded. The piece called 4'33, composed by John Cage – an experimental work in which the musicians have to be quiet for 4 minutes and 33 seconds – does not have any chance.

One evening, I'm quite done with the busy sounds. Firmly I walk toward the computer to intervene. But I see something strange: the musicians move weirdly. Martha apparently discovered how to change the playback speed of the video. Thus, the orchestra hurries at breakneck speed through a piece of Vivaldi. No wonder I become dizzy.

With a few clicks, I cut the playback speed in half. And for the umpteenth time, I turn down the volume. Because of the artificial slowdown, the music sounds slightly out of tune, and thus I keep turning until the sounds are all the way silenced.

Slowly I sink into a chair and watch the motions of the musicians who play unperturbed in slow-motion. And while enjoying the silenced sounds, I finally begin to understand John Cage.



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