There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Colors of Music - A Mural

My day's adventures included a trip to campus and downtown. I ended up standing on a street corner admiring - and photographing, of course - one of our beautiful State College murals. This one is called Colors of Music, by Natalia Pilato and Elody Gyekis. It is located on Garner Street right across from McLanahan's.

I'll link to a local article about the mural where you may read more: "After asking area adults and children to explain how they visualized music, Pilato and Elody Gyekis, the artist in residence at the Green Drake Gallery in Millheim, spent 140 hours creating the mural template by combining the answers they received with local students’ art creations."

The colors in the mural were already wonderful, but I shot my pictures in vivid mode to enhance them. What you see above is most of the mural; I couldn't quite fit in the details that appear to the left and to the right, because it was just too wide for my shot. But I wanted you to see as much of it as possible.

To the left is an undulating piano keyboard, upon which figures are walking in a row, playing instruments. To the right is a girl shouting or - more likely - singing, with various musical instruments arranged in a circle above her head. Behind her, a train track emerges from a tunnel. Around her, children play. Yet another black and white piano keyboard appears to the right of her.

There is water in the middle, with water droplets dripping from colorful clouds, and with lightning emerging from those clouds, and ocean waves among them. Even the water is surrounded by musical instruments. A musical staff with notes on it flies through the air to the top right.

Outside of scene left: more musical instruments. Outside of scene right: a purple record, with people dancing around it; even break-dancing, like a scene from the 80s! The article I linked to indicates that more than 400 local artists, aged 3 to 74 years old, helped create this mural. Even better!

It is tempting because of the subject matter of this mural - the delights of music - for me to wax enthusiastic about the music I love best. I'll simply say that for me, music is as necessary as breathing. Taking pictures, listening to music - two of the GREAT delights of each day!

I'll add another happy comment to this: I took the opportunity to have breakfast at the downtown Waffle Shop, located right behind this mural. I ordered the S3 (S = special), two large eggs, home fries, two strips of bacon, and a toasted English muffin. It was hot and delicious. You may enjoy a photo of the breakfast in the extras.  :-)

There are so many songs that this mural brings to mind for me, but let's pick two that have the word Colors in them. First is Cyndi Lauper, with a live version of True Colors, a song that I use here every chance I get. Second is Vanessa Williams with Colors of the Wind, from the Disney film Pocahontas.

OK, so I find I do have a story to share about one of these songs, Colors of the Wind. It was after the film Pocahontas had come out, I'm guessing winter of 1995-1996. My husband (then boyfriend) and I went backpacking to the very furthest back-country site we know above Black Moshannon. It was probably a 3-mile walk in, or more.

I was starting to hatch a cold, and it was just an absolutely miserable night for me. I woke up at maybe 3 or 4 in the morning, and my nose was all stuffed up and my head felt bad. I regretted camping out, and I couldn't wait for dawn to come. But dawn wished for, seldom arrives quickly.

My boyfriend woke up too and heard me snorting and sniffling around, and he turned on the tiny radio he had with him. A marvelous song came on the radio just as we tuned in. It was Vanessa Williams singing about the colors of the wind.

It was the most lovely and soothing thing that could have happened to me, and it felt like the song she sang was FOR ME, the poor sick girl huddling under a tarp in the frigid pre-dawn of a Pennsylvania winter, wishing she were somewhere - ANYwhere - else.

The music calmed me, and it soothed me. It wrapped around me like the softest blanket, and it gave me peace. I imagined all of the little woodland creatures around us listening too, in wonder, to that song. And so I fell back to sleep to these lyrics, which seemed to have been written just for me:

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind

And so I'll end this with a wish for you, blip-friends, and for everyone else: May the music you NEED find you EXACTLY at the precise moment when you NEED IT!

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