December 17, 2013

Muse Of The Week: Arthur Lyman, Encore!

You are on The Big Island, in the Kona district. Feeling a bit thirsty, you step inside The Makai and take a seat. On a small stage at the front of the room is a slightly elevated area that might technically be called a stage. Sunlight sweeps in and covers the lone instrument on this stage, a vibraphone, sturdy, even elegant, but decidedly lifeless. You take another sip of your frozen cocktail, meticulously avoiding a case of brain freeze, and suddenly he is there. Gracefully wielding four mallets with the precision of a surgeon, the distinguished older gentleman takes his place between the sun and his instrument, and, without ceremony, begins to play. Now, for the first time, you are really in Hawaii.

Final thought: As music permeates our lives so thoroughly, it is sometimes very easy to forget the power it has to influence our emotions. Perhaps tellingly, people often choose to listen to music that only echoes the anxiety and desperation of the unbalanced times in which we are living. Music can also be a balm for what ails, and Arthur Lyman's music is good medicine indeed. If you are intrigued enough to seek out more of Mr. Lyman's output, you might be tempted to listen to it at night, as the sand begins falling from the ceiling above your bed. However, I suggest putting on an Arthur Lyman record as the morning sun is in full display over the horizon. I can practically guarantee it's efficacy to be many times greater than that of a multivitamin.

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