The Music in “The Bird that Sang in Color”

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The theme of music pervades The Bird that Sang in Color.  The story begins and ends in music and music is played throughout with various instruments and albums. But there isn’t only music in a literal sense. There is also the music of

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Painting Houses

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Vincent’s sketchbook was a sort of pictorial autobiography with drawings conveying the simple, but rich life he led. During much of his lifetime, Donna encouraged him to do more in terms of pursuing a career but he chose to live life on

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The Dulcimer Player

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In chapter two of The Bird that Sang in Color, Donna sees Vincent playing a dulcimer in his room while listening to one of his favorite bands, The Incredible String Band. Several years later, she sees the above picture in the sketchbook of his

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The Baker

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In the third chapter of The Bird that Sang in Color, Donna challenges Vincent’s decision to accept a baking job, saying that he could do so much more. About a week later, she tastes homemade bread that he baked and marvels and “how

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The Fiddler

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I chose to use this image as the cover of my book because I believed that more than any other picture in the sketchbook, it most closely captured the true essence of my brother. He was a simple person, but not in the sense that he wasn’t

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Protest for Peace

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In the next picture in Vincent’s sketch book, he is being chased by cops at a protest. In the background, the White House, the Washington Monument, and the American flag all stood. They were uncolored like the clouds of tear gas that

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The Penny Whistler

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When Donna sees the picture of Vincent playing a penny whistle in his sketchbook, she is transported back to her childhood when her brother gave her one of these tin flutes. The exchange below is from the opening scene of The Bird that Sang in

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The Bass Player

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Some of the pictures in Vincent’s sketchbook, like the one featured here, were uncolored and Donna wondered if her brother had eventually intended to color them in. When Donna sees this picture, she recalls the night she, Frank, and

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Studying the Stars

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This is the third picture Donna sees in Vincent’s book of sketches. She recalls the time he came to visit her and her children (Angie, Cosmo, and newborn Silvia) in 1989. All of them sat outside at night while Vincent pointed out the stars

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The Little Mandolin Player

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The second picture Donna finds in Vincent’s sketchbook is one of him as a child playing the mandolin. She observes that his stance with one foot in front of the other somehow reveals his unassuming, humble nature, and marvels at how he was

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