Front page | Essays index


200 Year-old Sunshine


Is the rainy season starting to get you down? Have you had enough 'grey' in your life? Well cry no more, because DR Bull has a cure for you! (No, no, not 'Doctor' Bull ... My name is David Roy Bull ... DR Bull!)

My prescription for the 'rainy day blues' is very simple. Take a good dose of 200 year old sunshine! Here's how you do it. First, go to a record shop and pick up a disc of the Mozart Flute Quartets. My favourite is the William Bennett recording, but it doesn't really matter which flutist you choose; it's Mozart we want to hear. Then, when you get home, prepare a clear space on your tatami, get a little pillow if you wish, put on comfortable headphones, start the A Major Quartet, and lie back and relax. Instant sunshine!

This is just about the most gloriously happy music ever written - guaranteed to clear any grey skies ... I don't know much about Mozart's life at the time he wrote these pieces, whether he was happy or sad, contented or troubled. I don't really want to know. I only know what he left behind for us, a legacy that can make us laugh or cry, that speaks directly to our hearts from so long ago in the past, and that will live as long as humans exist.

Don't laugh at me when I tell you this, but I have cried while listening to this magical music. A bunch of little black dots scribbled on a piece of paper more than two hundred years ago! What magic is this, that such things have the power to move us so?

As I write these words even now, although I don't even have the stereo turned on, this music is filling my head again, bringing a wonderful feeling of life.

Rain? What's that?