After mankind has been messing with nature for a very long time, nature has decided to get back at us. In the markets where you can buy a live bat from Asia, a snake from Africa and a fox from Indonesia, germs gets mixed up to form monstrosities like the coronavirus. The disease gets passed to humans, travels around the world, reaches our shores, kills too many of us and, after we go through dismissals, denials and defiance, we are now obliged to stay home. Confinement. Normal reaction: Oh no!
I will talk, eventually, about the toll this scourge inflicts upon the entertainment industry, but not today.
Today, I want to talk about the beauty of life under the crushing hand of catastrophes. No, I’m not joking. Follow the guide.
In the movie “Life is beautiful”, Roberto Benigni tells the story of a father and his son going through WWII. The father imagines all sorts of stories and games as their life gets destroyed and they end up in a concentration camp. I won’t tell you the whole thing, go see the flick, it’s a masterpiece.
The message of the movie is clear: use your head to make your life beautiful. In the most awful moments, in the greatest difficulties and restrictions, you still have the right to use humor and imagination to go through your life. We all have a brain. We all have imagination. That’s plenty to invent a more palatable present. I could give you some examples of how to occupy your mind (Hint hint: I’m a music teacher) but not today.
So then, what does all of this has to do with music?
Answer (are you ready)? The blues! The blues will provide an excellent answer to the question, because a slow blues is often a moment of sorrow and infinite sadness that will soothe your mind and bring the beginning of a smile to your face. The blues, with its minor tones and heavy themes, is beautiful. It brings some light into our strife, some inspiration to something better and sweeter. It creates compassion and reminds us that we have a heart. That’s why we smile through our tears while we’re listening to it.
The movie “Life is beautiful” is one of the best blues masterpiece I’ve ever seen. We witness so many heartbreaking moments transformed into hope and love. The father uses treasures of imagination to protect his son from the horrors they go through. As we are going into confinement, as we isolate ourselves from others, I wanted to remind everyone that the beauty of life is in the eye of the person who lives it. Use your head, your imagination to make your life better and sweeter. And yes, Roberto Benigni is Italian, he comes from a country who can teach us a thing or two about how to handle the pandemic we’re facing right now.