Saturday, September 21, 2013

Falling Slowly

Last Spring I attended a music recital at an academy for musically gifted young students in Denver.

The program offered everything from opera to jazz and culminated with a poignant rendition of a song called "Falling Slowly".

The piece was beautifully preformed as a duet by two of the academy's faculty members and was accompanied by the sweet sound of a tenor ukulele.
I was so impressed by the sound the came out of that ukulele that I promised myself I'd learn to play that music or die trying.  Well, it's been 5 months now and I'm dying trying.  Being a novice ukuleleist, this project has proven to be challenging to say the least.
But isn't it strangely unexplainable how there are certain songs which come along every so often and just blow your mind with their perfect combination of lyrics and melody? Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is one of those songs, along with several of Adele's creations, and I can't leave Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe" of my list.

So now I've included "Falling Slowly" to my list, for it is a song that has compelled me to joyfully work far beyond my abilities.
Of course - you may already know all this - but after I first heard the music in Denver, I did some research and found that the song came out of a low budget, foreign indie film called Once - a movie that took around 3 weeks to film on a $100,000 budget about an street musician working in Dublin, Ireland. Along the way the movie and the song have won myriad awards on the international scene and in particular, the song won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Music Written for a Motion Picture, Original Song.

Wow, "Falling Slowly" came out of nowhere and won an Oscar!

Now recall this was a really low budget, small time, foreign, independent film. Basically one of hundreds produced and distributed every year.

But there was evidently something very special about this story for in 2012 it was transformed into a musical production on Broadway (yes-Broadway) and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, winning 8 of those nominations including Best Musical.

Now that's an amazing rags to riches story. Should I say "only in America"? (Although it was written and produced in Ireland)

Check out the video below of the song "Falling Slowly" written and preformed in harmonious collaboration by Glen Hasard and Marketa Irglova.  After hearing it you too may want to include it in your musical repertoire if you haven't already!

But for now - enjoy. . . . .

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