Sound and Music Link Us All: Lessons from the Movies

This week, quite by chance, I came across two movies that illustrate beautifully how music and sound intrinsically link us to others.

One of my absolute favorites from the last three years, August Rush, was on television last week.  From August’s opening lines in a sea of wind-swept grasses, to the stirring symphony and his closing words in the final scene, “ The music is all around us, all you have to do is listen,” I sat in rapt attention or moved to tears just as I had years earlier.

Some reviewers of the movie have said it was nothing more than a modernized retelling of Oliver Twist. While I see the parallels, I think these people have sadly missed the point of this film and an opportunity to show how music’s energy moves us in unspeakable ways.

Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it, even as life pulls the main characters in  opposite directions and seemingly strips them of their joy, it’s music and an inner knowing, driven by sound, that brings them back to themselves and closer together.

Last night, I was pleasantly surprised by the sonic message in the final scenes of the animated retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss story “Horton Hears a Who.”

For the most part, it’s a cute story about the Who’s and their idyllic life on their spec of pollen.  But when their existence is threatened, it ultimately comes down to the energy in every Who’s voice shouting, “We are here.” combined with the sonic boom from the mayor’s son’s megaphone, to show the skeptics on the other side that their voices do matter, that they do exist.

Quite literally, I think life can make us forget that we have a voice and a creative spirit that must be heard. If we let others tell us we are wrong, that our passions aren’t real, then we are at risk for developing disease that can only be rectified if we reclaim our right to be heard.

If the music within you is muted; I strongly encourage you to watch, and more importantly listen, to the messages within these films. They, just like sound and music, have the power to transform.

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