Music in pictures: Imagine

Imagine… that incredible song of John Lennon’s. Now there is a beautiful, haunting melody and enticing words, encouraging human kind to explore a world which is just a bit different with everyone living together and enjoying the current moment. Pure magic!

Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack)

Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have thought a lot about Elisa’s music challenge (Imagine) and I have realised that the time people actively imagine (and do it a lot) is when they are reading. We read the words and create the pictures in our mind. Big bundles of white pages covered with tiny black type come to life and take us to places and times that may not exist anywhere on earth.

Clever authors and great musicians (like Lennon) are brilliant at writing words and music which capture our interest and then take us to these imaginary places. Lennon’s song is one of these lovely tunes which also conjures a mood of wistfulness and a hint of sadness.

A novel that captured the imagination of the world in a similar way to Lennon’s music was one that I first read in the early 80s. The book was written in sections, between the years of 1937 and 1949, so it had been around for a long time when I got to read it.

The author had lived in England and wrote while war raged around him – perhaps he needed to escape into his imagination to get away from the daily hardship. The author is one of my favorites: J R R Tolkien, and his book – well, Lord of the Rings!

Two of the series of 3 books, somewhat worn after being read so many times

Two of the series of 3 books, somewhat worn after being read so many times

I did not find the book an easy one to ‘get into’, but once I had navigated my way through a few chapters, I could not put it down! The story line is complex, yet fascinating! The reader is taken into a totally imaginary place called Middle Earth, and the many characters have a variety of unusual and fascinating names and characteristics. It is not a fairy story, yet elves feature. It is not an environmental story, yet the trees tell their tale.

Tolkien's Cover Designs for the First Edition ...

Tolkien’s Cover Designs for the First Edition of The Lord of the Rings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is an adventure story – a bold rendition which challenges the reader to engage their imagination at every turn.

Little did I know that this book was to feature so greatly in the lives of my children. They were fortunate to be young adults at a time when this book was turned into an immensely popular movie. It was mostly filmed in New Zealand which made it even better – it was made in a place which my children could identify readily with (NZ being such a close neighbour to us).

One of the many hundreds of models - painted and ready to display

One of the many hundreds of models – painted and ready to display

Where I had found the story a challenge to get into, my children and their friends had no such issues (they had a movie to help!). They avidly read the books and became totally engrossed in all three parts of the adventure. My sons patiently hand painted hundreds of tiny models and arranged them on dioramas depicting battles and scenes from the movie. My daughter was also captivated and all of us went off to see premieres of the movies (the day they were released!), we read and re-read the books and thoroughly enjoyed it all.

The imaginary aspect went one step further. One of my sons (JS) was fascinated by the 3 dimensional modelling which was used in many scenes in the movie (remember that Middle Earth had to be digitally enhanced and created – it does not actually exist!). JS has been a digital craftsman from a very early age, conjuring amazing images and videos for all sorts of projects. He dreamed of becoming a master craftsman in 3 dimensional modelling, and happily is now living his dream!

A sample of the characters from the books, ready for display

A sample of the characters from the books, ready for display

Our family lived with Lord of the Rings euphoria for a number of years.

What a happy, wonderful journey it was for all of us. Thanks to Tolkien’s incredible imagination and the skill of the movie makers to make it accessible to such a wide and diverse audience.

Imagination? Where would we be without it?

Large boxes of character models were assembled and painstakingly hand painted

Boxes containing numerous character models. Each were assembled and painstakingly hand painted. (Produced by: Games Workshop)

Do you have a special time or place (or occupation) where you use your imagination? Perhaps you would also like to participate in this great musical challenge. Visit Elisa’s blog Autumn in Bruges to get the details and to hear John sing his lovely song: Imagine.

[Photo Credit – the image on the banner for this post is from one of the covers on the game boxes by the Games Workshop]
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14 Responses to Music in pictures: Imagine

  1. scrapydo says:

    This is wonderful, I also had the Lord of the rings era during my son’s younger days! Amazing how these things take your imagination to far places. I have put some of the photos of the characters in one post. Weta World is here in Wellington.


    • Madoqua says:

      Well, I am going to have to come over the Wellington to have a look at Weta World one day – that would be awesome!
      Interesting how this whole LOTR saga really captivated the imagination of the younger set.
      I will go and look for the URL of your post and add it here, if you are in agreement?


  2. kevinmayne says:

    To this day my all time No1 book.

    Thanks for keeping it alive!


  3. This post was worth the wait! I loved every single word of it and I do agree with you, we imagine the most when we read. Haven’t read Tolkiens’ books yet and reading them in English would be quite a challenge for me, but you inspired me so maybe I will give it a try. I saw the first movie and liked it a lot and books are always better! Great choice for my contest, I can see you thought of it carefully! Thank you, I very much appreciate it!


    • Madoqua says:

      Thank you for your appreciative words Elisa, I am delighted that you liked the idea. As I said in the article, I did find the books a challenging read to start with, but once I had sorted all the characters out, I really enjoyed them. The Hobbit is shorter and you may enjoy it more. You write and comment so well in English, you must be very talented.


  4. Jo Bryant says:

    it is wonderful to hear how engrossed these words held your family. I love Tolkien. Books really do take you to the furthermost reaches of your imagination


    • Madoqua says:

      Jo, I was pleased to hear that you also love Tolkien. It is an interesting concept that we could both read the same book (with the same descriptions of people and places), yet the interpretation inside our heads could be totally different!
      I think that is why people like books – you get given a story, yet it is up to you to make it ‘come alive’.


  5. I’m also a Tolkien fan. 🙂 As children my brother and I would read to each other from the books – especially when we were travelling. I was so excited when they made the film trilogy – which I still watch at least once a year.


    • Madoqua says:

      What a great idea to read to each other! You are right, the film series was fantastic – we watch it quite often too.
      Tolkien was such an amazing writer – I wonder how much of the story was based on what he saw and heard during the war.


  6. Tolkien inspired my imagination growing up. Seeing the movie just gave it a different dimension.


    • Madoqua says:

      Wow, that must have been a wonderful childhood. Tolkien’s stories really take the mind into fascinating realms. I am pleased you did not dislike the movie – I think they did a good job of keeping it true to the book.
      Thanks for your comment!


  7. Lois says:

    I enjoyed this post; have you heard ‘Imagine’ sung by Raul Malo… blew me away when I heard it!


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