Review by Grady Harp
Now and then along comes a book that simply changes everything. STORIES OF MUSIC, of which this is Volume 2, is that kind of book, though ‘book’ would hardly define this heart work: this is a multimedia project that includes audio and video aspects of the physical, very handsome book that can be held in the lap for musing and with the little miracles of modern technology expand that reading experience spherically. Art, poetry, stories, songs, photography from around the world are gathered as a tribute to the influence of music in our lives.
STORIES OF MUSIC is the creation of Holly E. Tripp, a musician, freelance writer, editor, and marketing consultant based in Denver, Colorado who stepped from the corporate world to respond to her own memories of childhood and stories from her grandmother, realizing the impact music has had in her history. Appreciating that relevance she decided to merge all of her talents to create a multimedia anthology featuring works from more than 40 authors and artists from around the world – a book that now includes poetry, nonfiction, photography, audio, and video presented in a print book with a free companion web edition. She is accompanied by California ‘blue collar’ poet Bill Cushing who has absorbed life across the USA, gaining his education from the University of Central Florida and earning an MFA in writing from Goddard College in Vermont. Bill teaches English at East Los Angeles and Mt San Antonio colleges and lives in Glendale, California.
STORIES OF MUSIC is exactly what the title suggests. Volume 1 shared contributions (responses to letters sent round the world) from 40 authors and artists from 11 countries including India, Russia, England, Bosnia, Cuba, Uruguay, Indonesia, Bangladesh from whom Holly Tripp gathered poetry, nonfiction stories, photography, original music, and videos that share the impact of music on people’s lives. Technically speaking, the book shares URLs and QR codes that further the impact of the theme by directing the reader to a free companion web edition that allows immediate enhancement through the audio and video pieces. Now Volume 2 celebrates how music can propel us forward–despite obstacles, pain, and uncertainty–and in some cases, save lives. You will meet a host of incredible people in these heartfelt stories–a man who survived the Holocaust because he was a talented violin player, a woman who learned to play the piano at age 91, the founder of the World Mouth Harp Festival of India, and many more. You will travel back in time to experience monumental moments in music history, and to present-day India, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Israel, Russia, Siberia, Morocco, and the United States, where you will discover stories from people who continue to live through music today. And as with Volume 1, while reading, enjoy original music and videos that accompany select stories by visiting the free companion web edition. There are more QR codes and short URLs throughout the book to direct you to the correlating multimedia works.
The impact of this Project is an appreciation of global traditions and histories of how music has changed mankind and carries those treasures into today, with poems, photographs, videos, songs by the contributing artists – from classical to rock. For example, Bhaskar Das writes, ‘Indian Classical Music – an art form comprising vocal, dance, and instrumental performances – is one of the richest music forms in the world where you find a nuptial know between art and mathematics, body and mind, human beings and the Almighty’. Not far from this thought is a section from the You Rock Foundation, so immediate and now and yet also a step in history. Robert William Iveniuk writes, ‘There’s a side to art that people are prone to neglect: the preservation of history. Not just world history and culture, but also personal history.’
Global words as poems and stories are illustrated by paintings and photographs and aural elements that not only make this book sing, but also brings us all into the realm of our personal moments when music changed us, provided us with indelible memories, and our own stories of music. This is a brilliant accomplishment, a life-changing book (now 2 volumes) that invites the reader to be an active participant in the illumination from stories of music.
TITLE: Stories of Music (Book 2)
AUTHOR: Holly E Tripp
Publisher: Timbre Press LLC (January 10, 2017)