It’s finally the time of year when you leave your apartment around eight in the evening or so and can still see a few shades of orange and red peeping from behind the tower and surrounding foliage. Clouds of purple come down to bid farewell to the sun for the day’s work and the dark, blue night creeps behind you.
I always try to look at Austin as if I’m looking at it for the first time all over again. I remember driving up Mopac with my family for the first time and noting how great the rolling hills looked. And yet, it barely sank in today while at work that I really am leaving. As much as I planned for it and knew it was going to happen, the finality of it never really occurred to me.
Sometimes, it is hard to put into words everything one feels (no matter what the articles my psychology friends send me say). Fortunately, while the English language fails me, I still have music that is able to convey how I feel when words cannot. So, Austin, Texas MPA, here we go:
No. 1: “Me and Bobby McGee”—Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin was discovered in Austin, and appropriately, she’s the first song on this cassette. This song was originally written by Kris Kristofferson, but it became famous under Joplin’s recording. I love the rustic feel to this recording. Every time I hear it, I recall how I felt coming into Austin for a brand new start—the opportunity to learn from the mistakes I made in the past and not be tied down by them. Essentially, freedom truly was just another word for nothing left to lose, and I feel somewhat liberated with the knowledge that I will once again have a fresh start.
No. 2: “Over the Hills and Far Away”—Led Zeppelin
Admittedly, I was not a Zeppelin fan until the summer before my fourth year in the program. But oh my gosh! What adrenaline-pumping music!! I don’t think I could have passed intermediate accounting without the wailing vocals of Robert Plant and mad guitar licks of Jimmy Page. Their music kept me up through all hours of the night studying, and that continued through the late nights on my internship. “Over the Hills and Far Away” is certainly not their heaviest song by any means, but I think it maintains their drive while also showing a laidback side. That laidback side is definitely Austiny. (And you gotta love the modulation into F# in the middle of the song.)
No. 3-7: String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor—Dmitri Shostakovich
This is a dark piece that my group, the Praeclarus Quartet, performed in November. Shostakovich composed it after being coerced to join the Communist party, and he reflects his rage and his fea in this eerie piece. By no means is this music pleasing to the ear, but it definitely connects emotionally to anyone who listens to it.
Stay tuned for more of Paul’s MPA Mx Tape in our daily blogs.