Hey, hi, and hello. Welcome back to my blog where not all those who wander are lost (J.R.R Tolkien). In this post I will be focusing our latest project. This project has been one of my favorite projects we’ve ever done. Our final product for this project was to create a playlist of 5 songs that we connect with or that represent us. The driving question for this project is: How can we use music to represent texts and ourselves? now let’s dive in.
One of the first things we looked into was poetry. We read many poems and song lyrics and annotated them. In our annotations we would point out the different poetic devices we could stop and thought on how they made the song or poem better. I think that my favorite part of this stage was one specific poem I read by Edgar Allan Poe. I have always admired his work and love reading his poems, no matter how gruesome they are. The one we read as a class was “Annnabel Lee“. I was able to connect to this poem because I watched a web series focused around Edgar Allen Poe and mentioned his love towards her.
we then moved on to individual song analysis. For a couple of our classes we had to pre pick a song that we connected to in some way. We then wrote an analysis on one of the songs to then help prepare us for doing an analysis on each of the 5 songs in our playlists. I did my analysis on the song “Line Without a Hook” by Ricky Montgomery. I chose this song due to it being one of my many favorites.
Soon after doing the individual analysis we started on creating our playlists. I struggled to narrow it down to only 5 song. there was one song that I really wanted in my playlist but it took me around 7 minutes to find it. I then had 6 songs so I went to my brother for some advice and now I have 5. Below are my analysis and the playlist. Feel free to listen as you read.
“Clair De Lune” by Claude Debussy
As you listen to this song imagine a cool spring day. Sitting in the back seat, staring out the window in excitement while counting the trees as they pass by. Finally turning and parking outside a brown and white building. Hurrying through the halls, anxious to arrive. Stopping at a white door with a number at the top, looking over to two tall figures to be sure this is it. A knock, then silence. Suddenly the door opens to a lady, she’s wearing a lavender and mint blue outfit, holding onto a walker. This is one of my few memories that I have of my great grandma. She died when I was quite young and I can still remember the dreadful day of waking up and walking into my parents room as I see my mom in tears. We still have many things from her to hold on to and remember her by but none as great as her piano. The piano where I spent 5 years practicing and learning, the piano where a photo of her, my gran, my mom, and me is perched, the piano where when I look at it I see her. This song reminds me of her and of her piano with it’s soft feel and the sustain in each note.
“Welcome Home” by Radical Face
When listening to 3 specific parts in this song (1:18-1:43, 2:21-2:47, and 2:28-3:32) I think back to a specific place. My dad’s side of the family has a trailer at a lake in between Cash Creek and Lillooet. My dad’s family has had a place up there since before he was born. I have been going to this trailer since as long as I can remember, and now knowing that this might be our last year up there saddens my heart. I have made so many memories up there and it’s always been my way to escape the panic of life and lets me just relax and have fun. There are only a few words sung during the first two sections I connect with(“welcome home”, and “I’ve come home”). They have the repetition of the word “home” in which I connect with. I do however have a better connection with the third section.
“All my nightmares escape my head
Bar the door, please don’t let them in
You were never supposed to leave
Now my head’s splitting at the seams
And I don’t know if I can”
As I mentioned earlier with how I find this lake a way to escape life, the line “All my nightmares escape my head”(2:28) is exactly how I feel when I arrive there and I get the sense of going home. “I’ve come home”(2:21). The repetition of the word home really makes this song leave behind the mood of home and that you’re always welcome home.
“Far Away” by Ashjuice
Once I first listened to this song I felt a connection to it. Not just because my friend wrote and sang it but I felt a connection to the lyrics. The theme I got from this song is escapism. As I mentioned earlier with the song “Welcome Home” by Radical Face, I like to find ways to escape the troubles of life. I have been able to find it in books, movies, music, nature, and daydreams. I think the line I most connect with is “And you will fly someday to a world far away from your troubles” (2:42-2:46).
The one poetic device that stuck out for me was rhyme scheme. The scheme is AAAA or AABB. For example in stanza 2 the rhyme scheme is AAAA (fall, walls, tall, all). I fell that this makes the song get stuck in my head. The repetition of a rhyme helps the words stick.
“Started From The Bottom” by Drake
It’s dark, curtains so rounding as excitement fills the air. Suddenly a figure is in the middle of the stage as the lights turn on and fade to blue. The music starts as two more walk on stage. This is how my passion of hiphop began. In 2015 and 2016 my brother did hip hop. I started hiphop in 2016, 6 years ago. I have always followed in my brothers footsteps and look up to him. I play flute, do ultimate frisbee, am in PLP, and do hiphop because he did it. While I watched him dancing from backstage I immediately wanted to add hiphop to my list of dance styles. I did around 2 years of recreational hiphop then went on to competitive. I have now been doing competitive hiphop for 4 years and now it’s the only dance style I do. This song and hearing this genre lead me down a path in my life and I can’t think what my life would be like without hiphop.
As for literary devices, repetition is the major one. The repeating of the line “started form the bottom now we here, started from the now the whole team here” really leaves behind the message that they started from the bottom and made their way up. This song convey’s the message that anyone can start from the bottom and work up towards a major goal.
“Cry Of The Celts” by Ronan Hardiman
I chose this song for 4 reasons. All of these reasons are connected to each other. Let’s dive into the first. This song is from the Irish dance show “Lord Of The Dance”, the first connection I have to this song is that I did 7 years of Irish dance. I enjoyed it a lot except for the competitions (feis). At these competitions you would have to dance your specific dance as a solo as someone danced their’s right next to you. Each studio has their own specific dances but all studios share the same music. I always got stressed out at these competitions thinking I would forget everything. The next two connections I have are music based. The first being that I grew up loving the bagpipes and wanting to learn how to play the fiddle (both being Celtic instruments). I also grew up loving Celtic music and now it’s one of my top genres of music. And finally, la piece du résistance, the reason that ties all reasons together. I have Celtic heritage. I am part Scottish, part Welsh, and part Irish (I also have Ukrainian heritage). I am still looking deeper into my family’s Scottish clan and am interested in learning more.
Now let’s look back on the driving question. How can we use music to represent texts and ourselves? I think that a piece of music can have many different meanings to many different people. Everyone interprets music in different ways due to their past experiences and who they are. We can make it represent ourselves if we explain the meaning we find and our connection to it. Without an explanation others will keep pondering and might reach an incorrect conclusion. My conclusion however, is that I quite enjoyed this project so much that it has inspired me to read more poetry, point out poetic devices in everyday life, and to really listen to the lyrics of a song and find a connection to it.
Hope you enjoy my summative post. Stay tuned for more to come. My next post will be about MPoL.