It’s funny how these days every musical inspiration is becoming a story with a message from the Spirit realm. What happened the day after Thanksgiving is a case in point. In the end, Beethoven joined the Beatles in the latest rendition of their music that had swept the world for the last 189 and 46 years respectively. “Ode of Joy” and ”All You Need Is Love” became one, united at Eagle’s Nest, Scottsdale on Nov 29, 2013. And here’s how it happened…
In a note to a friend, who wrote to me about my (private) Thanksgiving 2013 Family Reunion at Eagle’s Nest story, I mentioned the Beatles 1967 hit “All You Need Is Love” as a good explanation for the healing miracles that unfolded last week with Theresa, Elizabeth’s eldest daughter.
I was a Beatles fan as a teenager. I played a number of their hits in the 1960s (“Hey Jude,” “Yesterday,” “Let It Be” – to mention some). I also have a history with that particular song. Yet I have never played “All You Need Is Love”. It was just too simplistic for a pianist. And although the song carried a wonderful message at a time the U.S. was escalating the Vietnam war, I thought it was really just a jingle. Not worth a young pianist’s time.
Well, that was a teenager’s point of view. Yesterday, I realized that there was something else that grated on me. The Beatles hit “All You Need Is Love” opens with the sounds of “Marseillaise,” the French national anthem. It’s a war song with a marching rhythm that grew out of the 1789 French Revolution in which thousands of people were guillotined or otherwise killed. Hardly something that would evoke unconditional or brotherly love that the lyrics of the Beatles’ hit talk about.
Guess John Lennon, who wrote the song, and who considered himself an artistic revolutionary, was not be bothered with such contradictions. But I was. And as I thought about it yesterday during a walk around our Scottsdale neighborhood, I began to hear the sounds of Beethoven’s “Ode of Joy,” the choral climax of its masterpiece – the 9th Symphony.
So when came home, for the first time in my life, I started to play “All You Need Is Love.” Without sheet music, of course, except to determine the starting key. On my Clavinova, I was able to do it using full orchestra voices. Which made it sound a lot better than just a piano solo. And then I transposed the key in which Beethoven wrote his “Ode of Joy” from D-major to G-major so be able to integrate it, hopefully seamlessly, with the Beatles’ song.
The whole process from inspiration to creation to recording took one day. Which is usually what happens when the inspiration is divinely guided. Then music just flows, almost effortlessly.
Speaking of which, I was awakened this morning before 5AM with sounds of Tibetan bowls within the “All You Need Is Love” music. So I got up and added it them to the recording. And this was a result. The East and the West met once again through music (as they did the first time in Mar 2011 when I first recorded the “Moonlight Sonata” with Tibetan bowls).
BEATLES AND BEETHOVEN UNITE AT EAGLE’S NEST, SCOTTSDALE
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Here are now some “action shots” during the recording at Eagle’s Nest, as well as from the Beethoven’s 9th symphony concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Well, that’s if you discount that I actually did play informally John Elton’s Big Red Piano there last February. That’s a real shot (right). The other images of me at the Royal Albert Hall were photoshopped into the photos.