© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

Embrace Life

A PSA from the UK with the most powerfully condensed message I’ve seen in years. Ninety brilliant seconds.

(Hat tip to Life is but a dream.)

The making of Embrace Life

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This was written on Tuesday, 09. March 2010 at 07:36 and was filed under death, Parenting, values. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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  1. “Brilliant” is the perfect adjective for this PSA…thanks for posting it.

    The standing rule in our house is that everyone’s belts have to be fastened before the key can go into the ignition. It’s worked OK so far…

    Comment: cognitive dissident – 09. March 2010 @ 9:11 am

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  3. Wow… Beautiful work.
    I of course can’t drive a car without my seatbelt. My middle kid will forcefully remind me “Daaaaaddy!! Your Ooootbelt!” if I pull out without buckling.

    Comment: blotzphoto – 09. March 2010 @ 9:13 pm

  4. This is brilliant. I encountered it a week or two ago, and I just want to give a shout out to Siddhartha Barnhoorn (the composer), who is one of my friends on Facebook, as he did a wonderful job scoring this!

    Comment: macronencer – 10. March 2010 @ 9:09 am

  5. @macronencer: YES! The scoring is perfect. I’ll be friending him as well. My own background is in composition and theory, and all I can say is (from point of impact) f#: iv i6 >> EM: ii6 V43 IV7(9-8) V I …wow.

    Comment: Dale – 10. March 2010 @ 9:53 am

  6. I had forgotten you studied music Dale! I’m a composer too, though I think my theory needs some work, and I’m taking tuition at the moment. I didn’t quite follow your notation… don’t worry though, I realise this isn’t the place for a theory lesson!

    I do agree that’s a wonderful change though. Sid uses a lot of inversions and suspensions, which I always like.

    Comment: macronencer – 11. March 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  7. Oh EVERY place is the place for a theory lesson! I taught it at the college level for 11 years and miss it very much. But as soon as I started, I realized how difficult the notation would be without superscripts and subscripts!

    He starts in A major. Right at the point of impact, he does a phrase modulation to f# minor and a plagal cadence (iv-i) with a 7-6 suspension (0:56-:1:00) that is a big part of the emotional power in that moment. Then i6 in f# becomes ii6 in E Major, and he glides through a very simple progression (V IV7 V I) to the end — but as you note, he has it beautifully laced with inversions (like the V43, a second inversion V7 chord) and suspensions (a lovely 9-8, 1:06-1:10). Really a masterfully simple piece of scoring, and beautifully orchestrated, too.

    Comment: Dale – 11. March 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  8. Thanks, Dale, for taking the time to explain that. The notation afforded by text is quite limiting, isn’t it? It’s much clearer now 🙂

    Comment: macronencer – 11. March 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  9. Brilliant! I know I’m pregnant and it’s probably just the hormones, but I broke down and cried at the point of impact. SO incredibly powerful.

    And another classical music junky here as well. I thought the music was incredibly effective. My theory is….ummmmm…rusty, let’s just say (although, I was glad I plowed through my several sememsters when it came time to learn my first Britten opera). But I CAN run around the stage in a corset, singing in any number of languages whilst looking priddy! I was an opera singer in my life BK (before kids, that is.) I actually credit my singing career with knocking the Jesus out of me. 😉 It was an interesting journey.

    Comment: shannahsings – 12. March 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  10. @Shannah: I was still losing it, as in crying convulsively, at the point of impact after seeing it ten or twelve times. It just brings too many meaningful elements together at once. I can’t bear it. And I can’t blame pregnancy (as far as I know).

    Comment: Dale – 12. March 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  11. @Dale: There is also a CNN segment on Youtube where they discuss this video. The male anchor introduces the video and story behind it, they cut to the video and when they cut back to him his voice is quivering and he is gulping and trying to compose himself. I had to chuckle a little, but I then concluded that my sobbing uncontrolably at my desk was not in fact a hormone-induced episode. Thanks for posting the video! Wonderful.

    Comment: shannahsings – 12. March 2010 @ 7:17 pm

  12. Yes, I SAW that one! Fantastic. So rare to see uncontrived emotion on the news.

    Comment: Dale – 12. March 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  13. I also want to say (after watching this about 8 times) that I LOVE the expressions on the ladies’ faces. The daughter grabs on and closes her eyes as if to avoid seeing the impact, but still holds on to her dad…the bravery of a child in a moment of crisis. The mother looks so brave and determined, not flinching or wincing in any way with her eyes wide open. Just as if she is fulfulling her duty to protect her family.

    Comment: shannahsings – 12. March 2010 @ 9:25 pm

  14. We’re drawn to the same things, you and I. I’ve watched this three times with my 12yo daughter and we agreed that the girl’s expressions (first on the couch, then at the impact) are a big part of the emotional power. And the wife’s determination reminds me of my wife in crisis––guiding the ship through as I sit paralyzed with uncertainty.

    Comment: Dale – 13. March 2010 @ 6:25 am

  15. I cried too–it’s nothing to do with hormones. My hands are shaking while I’m typing this, i just noticed. I still feel shaken (just watched it a couple of minutes ago), as though I had actually witnessed an accident. We don’t own a car here in Japan, but we do ride in my in-laws car, and in my parents’ car when we go to visit. *Everybody* will be watching this before we do any more travelling by car (my husband’s biggest fear).
    Thank you for posting it, Dale.

    Comment: yokohamamama – 14. March 2010 @ 7:47 pm

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