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News of Otsego County

eric clapton

Life Sketches: Whistling with my fingers, thinking of songs

Life Sketches

Whistling with my fingers, thinking of songs

By TERRY BERKSON • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Terry Berkson, who has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, lives on a farm outside Richfield Springs. His articles have appeared in New York magazine, the New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, Automobile and other publications.

These days, much more than ever, there seems to be music playing in the background of almost every dramatic television program.

Years ago an experimental show called Cop Rock was aired for a while. It blended the drama with musical numbers. The songs were about what was happening in the story.

I thought it was a great idea but at that time it didn’t catch on. I was thinking of writing a story for several weeks but I wasn’t sure where to send it. In the meantime, a spontaneous score for the story kept playing in my mind. In fact, there’s always some kind of music going through my head — depending on the mood and situation I’m in. This was true of the title character in the movie “The English Patient” and I was wondering if this phenomenon was what jump-started the recent trend of music once again prominently being blended into a story. Again, unlike scores for cinema, this type of musical background also has words and the words reflect what’s going on in the plot.

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