THE BIRTH OF MUSIC

John Wood

John Wood

By: John Wood
Re-printed from NAPPA

Imagine there’s no music. It’s easy if you try. No drums or synths or sitars or songs that make you cry. Imagine all the people living life so plain…
As an early cave couple sat in their split-level cave, let’s call them Bob and Estelle, Bob wandered aimlessly to what someday would be the front door to watch the rain and listen to the thunder god Moog shake the sky with loud and scary thunder claps of anger. Lightning lit up the sky and that was really scary because Estelle’s cousin Dewey was fried a few moons ago while hiding near a tree. Bob never liked Dewey, but I digress. Bob exhaled a big sigh of boredom and inexplicably a sound came from his lips that sounded like the whistle of a bird. He did it again. And again. He clapped his hands together trying to catch the invisible bird. Estelle came from the kitchen to see what was going on. Bob’s clapping and whistling had a nice cadence to it and Estelle started tapping her foot in rhythm – who knew Estelle had rhythm? – but wait, there’s more! Estelle picked up two animal bones and started beating them on their rocker (made from rocks) and she laid down a serious groove, like early Santana, circa Woodstock.

FLASH FORWARD SIX MONTHS. Estelle started an all girl group called the Boogles but had to drop out for an hour when she had her baby, Bobo. Bob was still looking for the bird but had developed a talent for drawing on his cave wall that was the rage of the neighborhood and he would sing about the stories he would paint in a style that now would be called reggae. His friend, Larry, would tickle the ivories behind him until the mammoth woke up and then it was every man for himself. Estelle found that if she sang some of Bob’s songs to baby Bobo he would fall asleep faster – there would be a gentle lull and then Bobo went bye-bye hence… oh, never mind. All the cave dwellers would get together and sing and dance and make music on some crazy looking instruments like they have in Albania. All the cave people that is, except the ones in the last cave on the left. The people of the caves were happier when they sang. They realized that music was all around them if they just listened. One of the best listeners was Dorothy Com from far away Silly Con Valley. Dot listened to the animals, listened to the waves and the wind rustling through the trees and was generally one with the Earth, like Raffi. This is a true story; I saw Bob’s drawings that were discovered in their cave in France!

The world is a better place because of music and NAPPA was fortunate to have some of the best music by some of the best musicians in the world this year. Thanks Bob and Estelle! And thanks to Honors winner Jon Samson’s song “Everything is Music To Me” from Another Kid’s Album for the inspiration for this tall tale.

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