the music that woke me up

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When I was a kid my bedroom was just off of the living room at the front of an old stone Victorian apartment house in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I had two walls of windows and at the foot of my bed was a glass door with a sheer curtain, as if my room had been a sun room when the house was for just one family. It was a cozy room that my mom painted a pretty pinkish purple color called Hawaiian Orchid – a color that she let me choose at the paint store when I was less than 10. It was either that or smurf wallpaper – even then I knew better than to surround myself with a pattern!

Anywho, because of the glass door, with sheer curtain, it was easy for me to hear what was going on in the living room after I went to bed. One night, after falling asleep, I awoke to hear the most beautiful music playing. It was delicate, intricate piano sounds and I had to investigate. I got up and looked out my door into the living room where the sound system lived.

There was my mom, sitting on her knees in front of the tape deck. I had a moment of trepidation that she’d scold me for being out of bed but the music was just so gorgeous that I had to go sit with her. And I did just that. I kneeled next to her and just listened. She didn’t send me back to bed, but I think the music lulled me back to sleep because I don’t remember anything after sitting & closing my eyes.

The music was George Winston‘s album December that my aunt had copied onto cassette, TYPED UP THE CASSETTE COVER (with a typewriter!) (I know – so awesome) & sent to my mom for the holidays.

Here’s a quote about the album that I found out there on the interwebs:

The mother of all solo instrumental albums, and with good reason. Mixing traditional carols with Pachelbel’s Canon and a few originals, Winston produces a solo piano album of unparalleled — and undeniable — beauty. How can music be simultaneously stirring and soothing, relaxed yet exalted?

That album and Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special are all I need to stir up holiday season nostalgia – even if it is against my atheistic heart’s wishes!

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