There is no organ more valuable to human life than the heart. In classic literature, it is considered the place where our sense of love originates. In medicine, it is recognized as the one thing that keeps us alive. Heartbeat is designed to showcase the various ways we think of the human heart. The heartbeat is heard throughout the show through the percussion and sometimes the winds, pounding incessantly, keeping the vital “thumpa-thumpa” chugging along.
Mvt. 1: “Adrenaline Rush” starts with a steady heartbeat, but then the tempo picks up as the heart beats faster in response to some sort of intense stimuli that spurs the sudden release of adrenaline. Think of children approaching the abandoned “haunted” house as others dare them to enter the overgrown gate and knock on the decaying door. Now imagine the door falling inwards and a tremendous crashing noise startling all. Yeah, it’s that kind of adrenaline…like the scariest scene you’ve ever seen at the movies.
Mvt. 2: “Passionate Heart” is full of blissful love and compassion. It is the piece that speaks from the soul; wrapping us with a big hug and making us melt from its warmth. Listening to it, we have no cares or worries because we are with the one we love the most.
Mvt. 3: “Heart Attack” demonstrates that if we do not treat our heart well, it can rebel against us and possibly even end our life. The music becomes increasingly dense as the arteries become clogged…and suddenly, the heart contracts violently in full cardiac arrest. The excitement of being rushed to the hospital is heard and the woodwinds re-create the sound of an EKG machine. There’s even a “flatline” moment on one tone when all seems lost. The paddles of the defibrillator are heard in the timpani and the patient is revived as the heart resumes its life-sustaining role, ending the show on a happy note.
By: Key Poulan
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