5: The Lost Memorial
TV Channel 1 of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority has been running a Friday weekly news magazine forever. It still runs. The show has a regular item called: The World in a Minute. As you probably guess, it shows a rapid succession of events from around the world in 1 minute – things which are not important enough to have their own story. From the start and for many years, the item played this mysterious melody as background. The melody caught my attention right from the start and I was always curious what it was. What was its name? Who wrote it? It was a powerful and fascinating tune. Back then, I couldn’t think of a way to find out (and I guess it wasn’t that important).
Then, after several years, they changed the melody and the mystery tune was gone. For years I wondered about it? Will I ever know? Will I ever be able to add it to my music collection? Sort of like a lost love. That was in the 70s and 80s.
Fast forward to around 2010. I had already been living in the US for many years. I was sitting one night in my home office. My wife was watching TV in the living room and I could overhear it. Suddenly, I heard it! The mystery melody that I had not heard for so many years! I jumped like I had been bitten by a snake and rushed to see what the TV was playing. It was a commercial for Marshall’s Stores! Some advertiser decided that that was the most appropriate music to play. Can’t think why.
I still didn’t know what that piece was (TV commercials don’t show credentials) but I had a lead! A couple of hours of intense Internet search and Eureka! I found it!. Memorial by the British composer Michael Nyman. Finally I found it. Lost and found. I also discovered that the piece was actually 12 minutes long – the Channel 1 segment only played one minute. A very powerful creation. If it irks you some when you listen to it, it’s not surprising. After all it is a commemoration of a tragedy. What do you think about it? How does it make you feel?