Friday, February 5, 2010

Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Kris Allen

(In which I can somehow find a precious piece.)


The first time I knew about this music was when Judah mentioned it when I asked him about his favorite English song. As I expected, he was rather surprised to find out that I didn’t know the song completely, as most students often mistake a teacher for an encyclopedia. He kept on convincing me that I knew it, sometimes singing the lines he knew well and sometimes humming, to which all I can give was an honest “It’s sounds really familiar but I don’t know where I’ve heard it or when.”

Yesterday, he handed me the other end of an earpiece connected to his iPod Touch.

“Listen, Teacher. This is the song I told you about.”

I listened to the introductory duet of the piano and the guitar and paused at the surge of the familiarity of the rhythm; I was almost convinced that I really knew the song and was only careless to forget it. The blending of the female and male voice was softening to the heart. The strong baritone of the singer as well as the wide instrumentation worked together in beautiful harmony. It was simple and clean. I felt my heart as well as the space around me grow wider with every dramatic crescendo. And when everything’s quiet and still and the voice was soft, it seems as though time stood still. I felt my head slowly swaying in common time, four beats in a measure.

“It’s beautiful,” Judah said with a satisfied grin.

“It is.”

I found out that there was a recent version of this song and listened to it too. It was a beautiful rendition for me. Compared to the original, it only has a piano and a guitar, which makes the singer’s voice prominent all throughout. The subtle female voice blended well with his though not as compelling as the original. If the goal is to replace the original song’s classical air with a modern one without taking away its bittersweet rhythm and feel, this version is successful, as far as the humble opinion of this average listener which is totally devoid of the quality of the criticisms of a real critic, is concerned.

I cannot choose one over the other though. They’re both artistically beautiful. I get the same feeling when I listen to them. It’s like being wrapped by a soothing air and all the tensions and barriers slowly slip away and all that was left was comfort.

I suddenly felt as if I was a musician again. How strange it is to feel that you could produce music by listening to it but that’s how I felt nonetheless. As I feel my body slowly swaying to the beat, I felt the good feeling I had when I was one of those people who make good music together and was known for it. I could feel it. Everything. From the exhausting catching up to complicated succession of notes in an overture and the loud and fast heartbeat as the drums were rolled to the sensitive and exclusive soli - and then the triumph of reaching the music end. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why this melody is familiar. It has the power to make me leap through time as if to remind that I have never lost the musician in me.