Friday, January 09, 2009

A Day Without Precipitation

Yesterday I was in a horrible mood. We were getting thumped with more snow after the ice storm Wednesday and I had been to an appointment at the wound clinic which left me with some difficulty walking afterward. Today is a little bit better, though; at least the sun is out (as I write this, however, the thermometer says it is 22 degrees F outside), and that just in itself is an improvement....

I'm in the midst of preparing to teach a class next Tuesday and Wednesday. The subject matter is Trauma/Cold Weather/Environmental emergencies, and I'm teaching as part of the Continuing Education series for the members of the Goffstown Fire Department. In looking at what I'm teaching, some people would think perhaps that Trauma may not fit with Cold Weather and Environmental emergencies, but it really does. A perfect example is when someone crashes a snow machine into a tree 3 miles away from the nearest road, and on top of that splits their helmet in half on the tree.... And it happens. Having had to go into the woods to rescue people in that circumstance, I know this is true.

The classes are held monthly, and the subject each month is different - next month is Behavioral/Psych/Geriatrics, and we got a guest speaker for that class: Martha, my wife. Considering it's what she does (she's the clinical manager of an acute Psychiatric unit) it makes sense that she'd be a good choice to teach. Plus, she's got experience working with EMS crews from back in the day when she worked as an ED nurse, so she has a good idea what type of material to present when she teaches this class. I'm looking forward to it.

I have always appreciated the music of Aaron Copland. In fact, he is one of my favorite orchestral composers. I can't call him a "classical" composer because, in the broad sense, he really wasn't a "classical" composer. He lived during the 20th century (1900-1990), and he wrote all sorts of music, from symphonic works, to music for movie soundtracks. The video posted below is a work of his that is a personal favorite of mine, entitled "Quiet City." The music was originally intended to be incidental music for the Irwin Shaw play of the same title, but Copland himself said that this piece took on a life of its own, which is why it is where it is today. It features strings, a solo english horn, and a solo trumpet - I've played the trumpet part in the past, and it is as challenging to play as it is gorgeous to listen to - and this trumpeter is quite good, by the way. And the orchestra ensemble in the video does an incredible job performing this.

It is definitely worth listening to, and if it doesn't move you, then where is your heart?


1 comment:

Karen Brook Westhaver said...

LOVED this "Quiet City" video. Fabulous recording. Instead of a *city*, though, it mentally took me outside on a walk through our heavily snow-covered back yard, all the trees bowed down with the silence of the heavy whiteness everywhere, the view down the long meadow to the cold river below with the wild ducks hunkered down on the ice. Beautiful. Thanks for posting such nice musical mini-mind vacations :-)