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Lost In Autumn

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Lost in Autumn

By Michael Patrick Nelson

This is autumn.

Two weeks ago, I got a new navy-blue pea coat. It’s just a wool coat, but it feels like something between a blanket and a bulletproof vest: It’s thick and heavy and warm and wonderful. I wear it every day now, and I wonder how I ever lived without it. On the train, every morning and afternoon, I sit bundled in the coat, pressed against the window, reading and listening to Thelonious Monk or The Sundays or Ryan Adams. In the mornings, I squint and shift in the brilliant sunlight, almost overjoyed at the sensual delights with which I am showered: the taste and smell of my croissant and coffee; the feel of the newspaper in my fingers and the sun on my face and the coat covering the rest of me; the sound of music flooding my head. In the afternoons, by the time my train arrives, it is dark outside, midnight black, the temperatures dropping more every day, the days becoming night ever earlier, and while the songs might remain the same, they somehow sound different.

This is autumn.

Late last month, I spent a full Sunday afternoon in my bedroom, putting into storage my old T-shirts, and removing from storage my old sweaters, with Jonathan Schwartz talking softly on the radio and playing records by Frank Sinatra and Joni Mitchell and Johnny Hartman and Tony Bennett. I don’t know when it happened, but somehow, the quiet hum of housekeeping has become a beloved pastime. And I don’t know what it is about going through my old clothing that makes me feel so nostalgic, but it is a welcome feeling, one I enjoy more than I should probably admit. And I don’t know what Sunday afternoons in November would be like without Jonathan Schwartz telling me, in his gravelly whisper, about Judy Garland and Carly Simon and Nelson Riddle, but I don’t want to find out.

This is autumn.

The films of Woody Allen, especially Hannah and Her Sisters. Allen has many virtues as a filmmaker, but personally, what I love most about his pictures is the romantic and idyllic way they portray New York City, especially the way the city changes with the seasons, and most especially the way Allen uses music to highlight the sensitivity and beauty of his images. Hannah features pieces by Count Basie and Cole Porter and Bach (among others): music that reflects the city like a glassy pond in Central Park; music that sounds as much like this season as the joyous and high-pitched lunchtime cries of children on playgrounds, ringing out from somewhere in the distance.

This is autumn.

Halloween and the World Series and my birthday and Election Day. Parades and celebrations and congratulations and changes.

This is autumn.

Miles Davis and David Sylvian and Sade and Sigur Rós and The Strokes and The Stone Roses and The Sea and Cake and Nick Drake and John Coltrane and Jeff Buckley and Belle & Sebastian and Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates and Yo La Tengo and Kings of Convenience and Red House Painters and Pet Shop Boys and Pat Metheny and Portishead and Radiohead and Regina Spektor and Charlie Parker and Joseph Arthur and José González...And I don’t know that any particular artist is consigned to any particular season, but some music just sounds better at certain times of year. Surely that is a personal thing -- something to do with when an individual listener discovers or first connects with an individual artist -- but as I look at that list of names, I cannot help but be struck by how specifically and fundamentally each one of them seems to belong to this season, and how all of them bunched together, as they are right there, could never represent anything else, almost as if all that music and this time of year have, for me, become inextricably intertwined, like two parts of a single thing: like warm bread and its scent, or a building and its shadow.

This is autumn.

Like all great natural beauty, its stay with us is far too brief. But more than any other time of year, or any other time in our lives, it is in this short season that we may wake up and look around and truly feel the wonder and enormity of the world around us. And the sounds of autumn are signature, unique, and more beautiful than any other sounds I know.

Source: http://www.longislandpress.com/articles/sonicboom/557/

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Lost in Autumn

By Michael Patrick Nelson

This is autumn.

Two weeks ago, I got a new navy-blue pea coat. It’s just a wool coat, but it feels like something between a blanket and a bulletproof vest: It’s thick and heavy and warm and wonderful. I wear it every day now, and I wonder how I ever lived without it. On the train, every morning and afternoon, I sit bundled in the coat, pressed against the window, reading and listening to Thelonious Monk or The Sundays or Ryan Adams. In the mornings, I squint and shift in the brilliant sunlight, almost overjoyed at the sensual delights with which I am showered: the taste and smell of my croissant and coffee; the feel of the newspaper in my fingers and the sun on my face and the coat covering the rest of me; the sound of music flooding my head. In the afternoons, by the time my train arrives, it is dark outside, midnight black, the temperatures dropping more every day, the days becoming night ever earlier, and while the songs might remain the same, they somehow sound different.

This is autumn.

Late last month, I spent a full Sunday afternoon in my bedroom, putting into storage my old T-shirts, and removing from storage my old sweaters, with Jonathan Schwartz talking softly on the radio and playing records by Frank Sinatra and Joni Mitchell and Johnny Hartman and Tony Bennett. I don’t know when it happened, but somehow, the quiet hum of housekeeping has become a beloved pastime. And I don’t know what it is about going through my old clothing that makes me feel so nostalgic, but it is a welcome feeling, one I enjoy more than I should probably admit. And I don’t know what Sunday afternoons in November would be like without Jonathan Schwartz telling me, in his gravelly whisper, about Judy Garland and Carly Simon and Nelson Riddle, but I don’t want to find out.

This is autumn.

The films of Woody Allen, especially Hannah and Her Sisters. Allen has many virtues as a filmmaker, but personally, what I love most about his pictures is the romantic and idyllic way they portray New York City, especially the way the city changes with the seasons, and most especially the way Allen uses music to highlight the sensitivity and beauty of his images. Hannah features pieces by Count Basie and Cole Porter and Bach (among others): music that reflects the city like a glassy pond in Central Park; music that sounds as much like this season as the joyous and high-pitched lunchtime cries of children on playgrounds, ringing out from somewhere in the distance.

This is autumn.

Halloween and the World Series and my birthday and Election Day. Parades and celebrations and congratulations and changes.

This is autumn.

Miles Davis and David Sylvian and Sade and Sigur Rós and The Strokes and The Stone Roses and The Sea and Cake and Nick Drake and John Coltrane and Jeff Buckley and Belle & Sebastian and Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates and Yo La Tengo and Kings of Convenience and Red House Painters and Pet Shop Boys and Pat Metheny and Portishead and Radiohead and Regina Spektor and Charlie Parker and Joseph Arthur and José González...And I don’t know that any particular artist is consigned to any particular season, but some music just sounds better at certain times of year. Surely that is a personal thing -- something to do with when an individual listener discovers or first connects with an individual artist -- but as I look at that list of names, I cannot help but be struck by how specifically and fundamentally each one of them seems to belong to this season, and how all of them bunched together, as they are right there, could never represent anything else, almost as if all that music and this time of year have, for me, become inextricably intertwined, like two parts of a single thing: like warm bread and its scent, or a building and its shadow.

This is autumn.

Like all great natural beauty, its stay with us is far too brief. But more than any other time of year, or any other time in our lives, it is in this short season that we may wake up and look around and truly feel the wonder and enormity of the world around us. And the sounds of autumn are signature, unique, and more beautiful than any other sounds I know.

Source: http://www.longislandpress.com/articles/sonicboom/557/

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Ups and downs, a refrigerator on the brink of emptiness, music on the street, dark rainy clouds stretching their massive bodies across the sky, ready to drop their icy tears on the world below as the biting wind tears through jackets like knives through pumpkin pie. Rotting leaves that paint their longing portraits of change on the ground, as the world revolves again, becomes different in flavor and detail yet somehow always the same.

This is autumn.

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