Books and Movies Reviews

A Few Words With Gordon Parks

A Few Words with Gordon Parks

Q: What inspired you to compose music?
@ Well, it is quite strange really; you're going to think I'm crazy. One summer when I was about seven, I was hunting June bugs in our cornfield when I heard something in the cornstalks. The noise got louder and turned into music, and all I could do was just stand there, with my mouth full of mulberries (which I now think are poisonous), confused, looking up at the slow-drifting clouds to see if they were where the music was coming from. The strings, horns and drums were as real to me as the sunlight, and I had a feeling that this music was stuck inside my head, that is it would have been there even if I had no ears- sort of like Beethoven. So, I covered my ears with my hands, and the sounds were still there and they continued until all the clouds moved away and there was nothing above me but the blue sky. Then the music was gone just the same as it had came, and I ran toward the house a little scared but jubilant at the same time. But since no one was around I just went ahead and scooted up on the piano stool and started banging on our Kimball upright-trying to imitate the sounds I had heard. You see, my father was out in the field working and he dropped his hoe and ran to the house hearing all the noise. He opened the door and watched me with amazement because I was sitting there at the piano, screaming as loud as I could!
I think that this introduction to the fact that the joyous sounds of nature could be expressed through music influenced my life in a great way, no matter if it was because of some berries I had been eating, or as the will of God. Either way I'm grateful for the way that it has changed my life.

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Q: Did you ever write any music, and if so, did it ever get it published?
@ No, I never really wrote music because I didn't know how. I started playing piano the same day that I heard the music out in the field, and started t…

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