This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

The Wedding Alphorn

17 September 2016

Today is the day.
Today is The Day!
From mountain high
to valley low,

Some composers can write a tune at the drop of a hat.
Some need the inspiration of a beautiful place
or a special occasion. 

Three weeks ago today, I found inspiration
to perform an original alphorn call,
composed by yours truly,
and inspired by both place and occasion,
and two people I love.

The place was on a former dairy farm
underneath the shadow of the
southern Appalachian mountains.
And the occasion was the wedding
of my son, Sam Brubaker, and his bride, Elina Thomas. 

My simple tune was constrained
by the alphorn's limited scale and notes.
Cows of the Alps or the Appalachians
do not care for complicated chromatic music,
and prefer rustic melodies that are easy to remember.
Sensible cows also recognize
that the steep mountain slopes
rule out any square dancing.
Consequently they prefer
the mellifluous sound of the alphorn 
to the jarring noise of the banjo.
Therefore alphorn players
really only have to play slow songs.
And only down hill.

What the wedding guests could not know,
since I had no time to prepare a proper alpine choir,
was that my wedding alphorn call had words.




Today is the day.
Today is The Day!
From mountain high
to valley low,

 Elina and Sam.
Today is their day!
We wish them love
and happiness,

The reception required an encore
for the happy couple
and another song too.
This time sung and not played
as it is in a minor key
whose notes are not available on the alphorn.
I was merely the lyricist,
motivated to invent this educational song
when my son was age two
riding in the backseat of my truck.

It is based on the children's round tune
"Bruder Jakob"
more commonly known
as "Frère Jacques";
that Gustave Mahler used
in the third movement
of his Symphony No. 1.

It is suitable for all ages.

Do not whimper,
do not whimper.
Do not whine,
do not whine!
Please refrain from crying,
please refrain from crying.
Do not scream.
Do not scream!

On August 27, 2016
My son and I posed with our faithful family tractor,
cleaned up special for the celebration.

This is my belated contribution
to the August edition
of Sepia Saturday
where there are no rules,
only the love of good stories.


La Nightingail said...

Glad you kept trying to post the right entry. It was well worth the wait! Thanks so much for sharing such a happy day. The married couple are beautiful and look at all those smiling faces, not to mention Dad adding significantly to the celebration. Congratulations to the newly wed couple, and to Dad for his forbearance. :)

ScotSue said...

With your first photographs, you brought back to me happy memories of holidays in the Austrian Alps. Then we came to your personal story - a beautiful setting, smiling guests, the happy couple (loved their costume) - and above all unique music making. Congratulations to all!

Jo Featherston said...

It looks like a beautiful day and a beautiful setting for a joyous wedding, with everyone very happy to join us n the celebration.

Fixtroy said...

What a beautiful couple. Great Alp horn playing. Mazeltov!


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