Monday, October 27, 2014

Visual Music - Ghost Tales by Mathilde Bilbro

Holding the unique position of being Alabama's most prolific composer, Mathilde Bilbro was once an undisputed leader in pedagogical piano music, but like the majority of artist who work in the field her music has been totally forgotten.  I'd also point to the fact that, like most music written for the most beginning of beginners, Bilbro's music isn't exactly worthy of critical attention.  I'd normally not even mention her except for the presence of one of her pieces in my collection of sheet music covers, and once you see it you'll understand its dire need to be recognized among Halloween's visual artifacts.

Christ on a cracker, look at those things.  The unsettling apparitions you see here are from story episodes told through narration accompanied by music, but the thin-line, etched art style has made these spirits far more frightening than anything pedagogical music could even dream of.  It seems you're never safe - getting a snack, going to the well for water, swimming, boating, trying to sleep - every corner of these kids' world is a soul swallowing waiting to happen.  The stories themselves give up any sense of true fear by attempting to rhyme, and sometimes language itself forgets to put its pants on in the morning ("We were skeered for fair!"?).  But do you really need flimsy words for ghosts like that?  I can't even tell if the attic ghost is holding a guitar or a tommy gun, and that's just the kind of thing you don't want to mess around with when the Ghostbusters are called.


1 comment:

  1. I've heard hundreds of covers of songs, but the Shawn Mendes's cover is the best I've ever heard!