“It’s a powerful way to experience a story.”
Article by Dr. Erika Behrisch Elce
Welcome and welcome back, RMCers! It’s a beautiful week in September here on the peninsula, and what better weather to talk about what we’ve been reading over the course of the summer?
I was excited to catch up with a former student of mine, OCdt (IV) Lucas Maxwell, who spent the work part of summer in Greenwood and Gagetown, and then some vacation in Europe. He gave me an unexpected but delightful answer for my standard question, “what are you reading?” His reading roster for the summer months? “Music!”
In between tasks on his OJE, OCdt Maxwell took himself through as many classic folk and old-timey rock’n’roll songs as he could manage, both on acoustic guitar and banjo. Is there a difference in what songs to play on each instrument? “There are more songs available for guitar, and they sound closer to the originals, but the banjo is more fun,” OCdt Maxwell explains. And what pleasure might be found in narratives set to song? “When I play a chord and hear particular notes, I feel emotion through the music, but joining the words to the music of a song adds emotional depth.” OCdt Maxwell’s long history with playing music also contributes to his connection to the songs he plays. “To read a narrative in words and to play it at the same time gives you a strong understanding of the world it creates. It’s a powerful way to experience a story.”