Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Alive Inside

The documentary Alive Inside (dir. Michael Rossato-Bennett, 2014) follows social worker Dan Cohen’s efforts to bring music (via iPod) to people with dementia. Again and again in this film, people quicken — come alive — as they listen to their favorite music. (Oliver Sacks, who appears briefly, cites Kant’s characterization of music as the “quickening art.”) My only complaint: like so many recent documentaries, Alive Inside suffers from a minimalist, soporific musical score. Its’s an incongruous element in a film about the power of music to enliven the listener.

Watching Alive Inside made me think of our fambly’s experiences playing music for nursing-home residents. Albert Ayler was right: music is the healing force of the universe.

I learned about this film from l’astronave.

[What Kant wrote: “Nun ist nichts die Sinne belebender, als die Musik.” In translation: “Nothing is more enlivening to the senses than music.” If I should ever be incapable of choosing music for myself, the composers and musicians listed in my Blogger profile would make an enlivening start.]

comments: 4

Elaine said...

I spotted an error: shouldn't Elaine Fine head the list?

Michael Leddy said...

: )

Notice everything in those lists is in alphabetical order. I’m just a little bit obsessive.

Fresca said...

I wish you could come play for my people living with dementia!
(Well, they're not "mine" of course. But sometimes I feel like a childless mother...)

Michael Leddy said...

It’d be fun. But I bet you could find all sorts of musicians who’d be happy to come in and play.