I’ve been a music fan ever since I can remember. Music has been the one thing in my life that I could always rely on to be there no matter how I was feeling or what I was doing. I can recall vividly listening to music with my Dad in the living room to Stevie Nicks, Donovan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, The Beatles, etc. Listening to that period of music always takes me back to that time I spent with my Dad. I have a very varied collection of music that I can literally map from pre-teen (tapes recorded from the radio) to current mid-life adulthood (MP3’s). I remember my first CD I purchased sometime in 1989 or 1990, it was Young MC – Stone Cold Rhymin. That is when it all started for me and my music journey through the years. Despite listening to almost everything, I’ve always returned to one of two genres: Rock (aka alternative, metal, etc.) and Dance (techno, house, club, trance, rave, etc.) While those are very broad genres, I’ll limit myself to what is mostly current right now as music is extremely subjective and what is awesome to one, is absolute crap to another.
Sometime when I was around 14 or 15, I spent the majority of a summer vacation listening to my Mom’s complete collection of Mozart. To my knowledge, it contained everything he had ever written and performed in his lifetime and contained 17 volumes with multiple vinyl records in each volume. I listened to the entire thing from front to back over the course of a few weeks using my parents system and a set of old-school over the ear headphones (the kind that you saw in the late 70’s and early 80’s). The headphones produced a near perfect sound even at lower volumes which made them perfect for listening to classical music. Classical music not being anywhere near my favorite, I did find it oddly satisfying and calming to listen to at length. While listening, I took note of the albums that evoked more feeling than normal so that I could go back and listen to them without headphones and on the larger speakers of my parents system. At certain times in my life, I’ve listened to Mozart, Bach, Chopin, etc. Classical music isn’t stuck in the past though. I will never forget the first time I heard John Adams – On the Transmigrations of Souls originally performed in 2002 in New York. This choral work was about 9/11 and in 2002, it was all still painfully fresh in our minds. Listening to the entire 24 minutes, there are multiple parts through the work that you instinctively know what the music is conveying. I’ve yet to visit the New York 9/11 Memorial, however when I do I certainly plan on having this playing while I walk around in remembrance.
Music to me is a universal language that helps us understand others. My belief is that you never really know someone until you know what kind of music like to listen to. My parents have migrated to Country music in the last few years, which is a genre I choose not to listen to often, however its music that is just as important as my rock or someone’s pop. What else can you say transcends time as much as music does? Hundreds of years later, we’re still listening to classical composers like Mozart as if they were written and performed recently. Listing to modern music, if you actually listen closely, you can hear the familiar pace and tones rooted in classical music. This blog post “THE MILLENNIAL WHOOP: A GLORIOUS OBSESSION WITH THE MELODIC ALTERNATION BETWEEN THE FIFTH AND THE THIRD” highlights a modern application on a clever and subliminal inclusion to a lot of the music we’ve listened to for decades. Thinking about it and listening to music pretty much all morning, I find myself saying in my head “there it is” over and over again. Artists know what we like and what makes a song popular, so it’s included somewhere in every song so that even when first listening, it’s somehow familiar.
As I complete this off, I’m listening to The Devil’s Bleeding Crown by Volbeat. A fantastic song that has a tribal beat that you can’t help but pretend you’re a badass drummer on stage at the local arena. I never played drums, rather I played violin, alto and tenor saxophone all through high school. I never found the time or energy to want to keep playing after I didn’t have a real reason to play (like concert band). I’m trying to get my daughter to play an instrument, but she wants to play drums, everyone has their preference. I’m secretly hoping that she sticks with it and becomes a drummer in an all women band and totally rocks out with her badass self.
What kind of music do you find makes all the problems go away? For the cassette/CD generation, how many do you have? Here’s a picture of my current collection (approximately 300) still to be digitized, two more racks are packed and in long-term storage.