A book of memories, music, therapy and madness

In connection with the Hay Festival taking place these days in Colombia, I would like to recommend a book that fits perfectly with the atmosphere of books, talks, educational sessions and the vibrant culture of the world in our region.

The first thing that caught my attention about this book is that the most frequently used word in its 280 pages is: music. Music changed the life of the main character, a character who was neither created nor imaginary, because he not only had the courage to live, but also had the courage to make it eternal by narrating it.

It is a book of memoirs, music, medicine and madness, and at the same time, a violent anecdote, filled with an honesty that few people would dare to reveal.

It tells the life story of a boy named James Rhodes, who was born into an upper-class Jewish family in St John’s Wood, North London. He attended Arnold House School, a private school, a school that changed his life forever. There, her physical education teacher, Mr. Lee, raped and abused her for years in a secluded room, while other children studied and other teachers continued their teaching duties. Those violent and secret moments caused endless trauma that Rhodes only managed to reveal until the age of 31.

His life was never the same, he became a lonely, empty, strange child with no future. Depression, alcohol, drugs, suicide, suicide attempts, and the loneliness of psychiatric hospitals came.

Until he discovered a cassette with the genius of Bach and his life changed forever, because in addition, the desire to become a musician arose, he turned to the piano and never wanted to give it up.

He fell in love with the Steinway Grand, met all the classical composers and artists, immersed himself powerfully in the stories of death and resilience of compositions like Chaconne’s, or the complex and beautiful lives of composers like Beethoven, Schubert, Scriabin, Schumann. Drowned in. , Ravel, Grigory Sokolov, and other geniuses.

For my part, thanks to the book, I entered his life, I lived it, I set it to music and I enjoyed it. Reading the book was a wonderful midnight experience, with headphones on, at ample volume, and as symphony orchestra tachycardia reached the heart, while I enjoyed the pages in peace.

I had never watched classical music with such trepidation. I think there was something stored inside me and this book was able to find it. The instrument has more voices than any symphonic band, it is full of them. Voices of fear, loss, loneliness, death, but also courage.

But beyond talking about his sorrows and his dangerously lonely life, Rhodes talks all the time about music, its power, its anger, the way we hear it and how it may already be part of our lives. Let’s talk. life, and above all, he pays poetic and musical tribute to Bach, the composer who saved his life and brought him closer to a concept of love that was as sound as it was perfect for him.

If you want to read a good musical story, this might be one of them. A good book and a great bet from Rey Naranjo Editores, an independent and loving national publisher. Highly recommended, because with its titles, it brings us unforgettable and insanely powerful stories on the nightstand.

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