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‘Painting with words & music’ – Guest Article

Brian Turner

I get great pleasure in reinterpreting the meaning of some lyrics. For example, the lovely tune entitled ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’ which the sheet music states it is from the soundtrack of the film entitled ‘Beaches’.  I have no idea what this film is about, so I have interpreted the words for a different story as follows: When you see a British winner of a gold medal at an Olympic Games or some other major sporting event, they usually drape a Union Jack around their shoulders and run around the perimeter track to celebrate their success. Inevitably the first person they go up to in the front row of the audience is their coach and they hug one another and talk briefly. Now bearing in mind that coach has often got up at the crack of dawn on many occasions and drives the athlete to say the running track and stands around, often in freezing cold weather, watching them and giving advice on how to perhaps run faster, or jump higher. Although you will know the name of the athlete, but like me have no idea of the name of the coach and as to how much that coach over a number of years contributed to the athlete’s success. So I believe that if you get hold of a copy of this sheet music and read and perhaps sing the lyrics concerned, you will agree they fit absolutely perfectly what the athlete would have liked to have said to their coach at that moment in time!

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There are also numerous tunes without any lyrics, but I have often painted a verbal picture for my audience prior to playing such a tune.  For example one of the most beautiful tunes I like to play, which has no lyrics, is The Theme From “Schindler’s List”. So I explain briefly to my audience what this is about, namely that during the Second World War Schindler was forced to convert his factory to the production of armaments for the Third Reich, because being a Jewish man he would have normally been carted off to Aushwitch along with most of his workers, who were also mainly Jewish.

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However, by apparently befriending some senior officers in the SS, he was allowed to continue to run the factory, and unbeknown to the SS he was secretly sending many of his Jewish workers to safety in Neutral Countries and replacing them with non-Jewish workers. He also helped many other people to escape. I believe the factory was in Poland near Auschwitz so I explain that when I play the second part of this tune I will add a choir which I believe that YAMAHA went specially to Poland a few years ago and recorded a massive three hundred voice Polish choir which I use to harmonise along with my playing of this tune.  So I first use Ethereal Movie style and Orchestral Flute for R1, and then change style to those Ethereal Voices halfway through. This becomes a very haunting but beautiful refrain knowing the terrible atrocities which occurred in Aushwitz  In fact on two separate occasions I have had two women who burst into tears when I added the choir but reassured me afterwards it was not due to any mediocre playing by me!

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Brian Turner
Genos Customer

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