Tuesday Tunes: Christopher Young’s “The Hellbound Heart”
Christopher Young‘s “The Hellbound Heart” is lightning in a bottle; it’s one of those compositions that crosses that line that separates music and feeling, and fuzzies the boundaries entirely.
It starts with this mellifluous, smoky flute fantasy that ties us up in ethereal knots and carries us into a world of tenebrous splendors, the piano notes our own hesitant steps into this world where everything seems to be in flux and dancing to a spiraling note. Then the violins creep in (0:19), raising the winds and bringing in the clouds, as the Sun rises high in the sky and maybe a few birds are flying around, yet the clouds slowly become darker and larger, (0:45) slowly piling up as the sky hints of storm (1:45). Then a few drops of rain start falling, and everything slows to a halt, to pay attention to these harbingers of storm.
The rain falls on (2:30), sullenly falling, heavy and cold. Some puddles form, when it seems memories of things long past reflect from those puddles (3:28) throwing us into nostalgia, then the sky seems to lighten a bit, and a few rays cut through (4:00) for a brief respite, when finally the Sun breaks through the clouds, flooding the landscape with golden light. The rain slows down (4:21), recedes. And still (4:46) the violins ask,… and still… and still?..