Category Archives: Random Thoughts

The Power of Music

A remarkable thing happened to me on my way to get lunch today.  There was a man playing the saxophone at the edge of Campus Martius, the center of the business district in downtown Detroit. Now there was nothing remarkable about the man himself.  He was of average build, he had a full beard and his hair was standing entirely on end.  If happy tree painter Bob Ross had ever been homeless in his life I imagine he would’ve looked exactly like this man.  He sat on a metal folding chair, his saxophone case open on the pavement ready to fed tips, like any normal street performer.  The remarkable thing is what his music did to me as I crossed the street.

As I exited the First National building I heard a tune that is very familiar to me.  It was the theme music from the Francis Ford Coppola classic “The Godfather”.   Normally when I hear this music my head is filled with images and quotes from the movie, but not this time.  This time that simple little saxophone melody transported back 60 to 70 years, to Detroit of better days.  Before the years of political corruption that ultimately led to the recent declaration of bankruptcy. Before the rising burglary and homicide rates  made it the second most dangerous city in America. Hearing that classic theme I could suddenly picture men in three-piece suits and fedoras walking down the sidewalks with their best dame on their arm.  The buses became trolleys and the modern cars driving down Woodward Avenue became the classic Fords, Buicks, and Chryslers that made Detroit the Motor City.  I could even almost see the old Hudson’s building still standing tall and proud in the heart of the shopping district. For the minute and half it took me to cross Woodward I was in Detroit of better days, until at last I stepped through the revolving door of the Chase building and back into the present.  When I walked back to the First National building the saxophone player was playing a more contemporary piece of jazz music that, while still lovely, did not transport me anywhere.

Those few moments with the saxophone player and the theme from “The Godfather” reminded me just how powerful music can be.  The right song or melody can unexpectedly take you to another time and place, while still leaving you firmly where you are.  It is a remarkable thing to experience, and the musician most times never knows the effect they have on the random passerby that happens to catch a few bars of their melody.  That saxophone player will never know the experience that he gave to me has I was just going to get my lunch, and had I of had any cash on me, I could not have afforded to give him enough to show my appreciation for the magical moment he swept me away in.

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Thoughts

About me and this blog

If you’re reading this then you have probably followed a link I posted and already know who I am. But for those that may find themselves on this blog as the result of a search, or WordPress blog suggestion my name is Shaun Pittman. I just turned 36 years old and am finally taking the first steps in my lifelong recurring desire to write. I currently work as a deed specialist for Title Source Inc., a Quicken Loans company.  I am enrolled at Colorado Technical University studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology with a specialization in Data Management.  For the better part of 17 years before that I was a professional cook, or chef if you will although I don’t claim to have near the knowledge or ability that most professional chefs have.  I have also been performing in community theater productions for more than half of my life, and it is through theater that I met the amazing woman I have been fortunate enough to call my wife for the past nine years.

I mention my desire to write as a recurring desire because since childhood it creeps up on me every few years. One of the first things I said I wanted to be when I grew up was a writer. When it creeps  up on me what I usually do is start reading writing magazines and studying the craft for a little bit, and then never actually writing anything, even though I always have different ideas floating around in my head.  Self confidence gets in the way, as I was always a straight C student in English I never feel I have the proper grammar or language skills to successfully write.

So here I am 36 years old and the desire has crept up on me once again, but this time I have decided to do something about it.  I have created a blog.  Here I will write about random things that I am thinking about during the course of a day. I will write reviews for television shows, movies, books, and maybe even music.  Some things I review may be current, others may be years old but I have just seen or read them for the first time, or just feel compelled to write about something I watched years ago but I wasn’t doing a blog then.  The main purpose is to get me writing, and maybe at some point down the road, if this seems to be going well, I might start posting small pieces of fiction.

Please feel free to comment on posts and let me know that there are people out there reading and maybe even following this.

Leave a comment

Filed under Random Thoughts