Musical landscapes, Big Sur, and me

Big Sur - Aug06

I’ve posted a new entry on the Pittsburgh Symphony blog, “Music, stories, and the world around us.” It’s in response to this weekend’s concerts, which featured The Dharma at Big Sur conducted by the composer, John Adams.

Adams has said he wrote the piece to reflect his feelings on coming to Big Sur for the first time, an East Coast native encountering the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The music definitely conveys a sense of wonder and awe.

I visited Big Sur just once in my years living in San Francisco, and my feeling was not like Adams’s. I had been living in the Bay Area for a while, so part of the difference would be that the newness had worn away.

But my memories of Big Sur aren’t even of the coast, cliffs, and ocean. They’re of dark forest and massive trees — a side of Big Sur that is less flashy but no less full of wonder.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see the part of Big Sur that included the stream and chairs above. They add a bit of whimsy and magic to the splendor, and I would have liked that.

(Photo credit: Big Sur – Aug06, originally uploaded by Waldo647.)

2 replies on “Musical landscapes, Big Sur, and me”

  1. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for transporting me to the magical splendor of a lush forest with all sorts of birds chirping and rustle of leaves echoing in my ears. I imagined myself, on a summer afternoon, seated on the chair (that faces the viewer). My feet are dipped in water. The tiny ripples tingling the uppers of my feet. I gaze at the trees and, intermittently, half-close my eyes as I listen to the music the unhurried waves and making with the chorous of the birds.

    Although each pore of my body is relaxed my mind is elated.

    How did this landscape put me in such an uplifting mood? It reminded me of an afternoon that we spend just this way a few years ago when we were vacationing in West Virginia’s Cheat River Valley.

    Thanks for making me reminiscent those awesome moments!

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