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Waltzing With Mother Nature

Do you think it is fair to praise Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns as works of genius? The plots are lame or copied. The dialogue might as well be dropped. The real star of those movies is the musical score of Ennio Morricone.

And yet there are some great visuals. Leone understood the climate of the American Southwest and he could express it so brutally and powerfully with the camera. (The movies were shot in southern Spain where the climate is equally horrid.)

That is a rare achievement. And yet, I can't think of a scene in his spaghetti westerns when the miracle of rain is portrayed. Maybe a camera isn't the right tool.

That is what I thought about on our second day of rain on the mountain. The poor campers! But they seem to make the best of it -- I don't know how, in those tents, and with children and dogs inside.

The "pen" isn't any better than the camera for truly expressing rain in the Southwest. That leaves music.  

This was a real challenge. Solo piano music came to mind first. The pitter-patter, you know. But pitter-patter isn't enough. The real magic happens after the rain hits the ground, so that is what the music should express. 

Imagine slow, soft, steady rain becoming life.  A beautiful cooperation.  The male sky god isn't indulging in his usual capricious bluster, but has become smooth and kindly to Mother Earth. A very productive approach.

Have a listen to this version of Franz Lehar's "Lippen Schweigen" on youtube.