Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Losing Beauty

Music is one of the ways in which I fill my life with beauty. I believe music helps keep me young and happy because it can be so many things: a mood booster, a panacea, stimulation, motivation to exercise, my own private recording studio in the shower and car (surely no one can see me singing Tainted Love in the car), and as background for deep relaxation. I have also noticed that it is impossible to be unhappy while singing. Try it!

I like almost all musical genres, and I especially used to enjoy the varied programming of WGBH in Boston--particularly the evening jazz and blues programs. But with advances in technology over the past decade, as well as the fact that I moved from city to suburbs and could no longer get a clear signal to one of my favorite stations, I drifted away from radio and listened instead to music on one of my iThings.

Today I am working at home. On a whim, I tuned the radio to WGBH, thinking I  might enjoy some classical music while I worked. 9AM rolled around and news was still broadcasting. Then 10AM and 11AM passed and all I heard was more of the same: news and talk. So I checked WGBH programming online and was disappointed to discover that in the last year, the station had become pure talk radio for 36 hours of a 40-hour work week. All classical music had moved to a different station, which has a much smaller radio tower, thus more static and interference.

So today I feel sad about the passing of a a small but reliable part of my life I once found beautiful, something I assumed would always be there. And I am especially grateful for the memory of those nights when I drove home from grad school. At 7PM, I would tune the radio to WGBH and, after a day that felt like it would never end, instantly feel calmed by the bright, lilting intro to the Eric in the Evening program's opening theme song (Tommy Flannagan's Peace) as I drove across the Charles River on congested city streets with Boston's lights illuminating the silvery-grey still waters. Goodbye.


  1. Although I'm not familiar with the radio stations, I am familiar with old favorites disappearing. This is such a poignant piece.

  2. That is really sad. Thank goodness we still have a all-classical public station going here in Portland-- I listen to it almost every evening as I cook dinner.

  3. I have to wait until 9PM weeknights if I want to hear music, and now they play jazz only. I love jazz, but I will miss the rest of it.


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