Thursday, November 01, 2007

Days of the Dead

It's the time of season to remember those who've gone before us.

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine . . .

Fauré's Requiem may be the loveliest and most joyful of all requiems. I was lucky enough to hear an All Saints' Day performance at a church in New York City back in the early 1990s. There are few pieces of music more beautiful than the "Pie Jesu."

Requiem in D minor, op.48 - Pie Jesu and Agnus Dei (Gabriel Fauré)

In Spain, November 1, All Saints' Day, is the day of the year in which more flowers are sold than any other. When we lived in the village of Chinchón, I remember all of our neighbors going up the hill to the cemetery with flowers for their loved ones. It may have been the first time I really understood the power and importance of these holy days.

And, of course, in Mexico, they celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, a unique festival in which large altars are built that hold pictures and belongings of various ancestors. Here's a strange little animated piece about the holiday.

Finally, a more modern attempt at recalling those who've gone before us. Joy Division's "Dead Souls" is a haunting work; I'm not sure the slide show someone added to the song really captures the original intent, but it's interesting that someone used the music to recall their own favorite dead souls.

"They keep calling me . . ."


Jeff said...

Nice animation on the "Day of the Dead". It looks like it must have taken ages to put together. Even with the darker aspects, it seems less sinister than the basis for Halloween, doesn't it? Maybe it's all the colorfulness around it.

Joy Division! Thanks for taking me back a ways. I especially liked the inclusion of Jimi and Bob Marley at the end.

Pats 24 Colts 20... Sweet.

cowboyangel said...


I share in your enthusiasm for El Dia de los Muertos, Joy Division, Jimi and Bob Marley.

Alas, I can't do the same regarding yesterday's game. "Sweet" was not the word I used at the end of the game. Mine also started with an S and ended in T, but the middle part was slightly different. :-)

Jeff said...

Aw, man... I can understand you rooting for the Jets and Cowboys against my team, I can even understand you having an ax to grind with the Patriots in general, but to root against my team in favor of PEYTON MANNING and the reigning SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS? That's cold, baby. Thanks for nuthin'. :-)