Music is a journey

I’m a firm believer that music transcends emotion and consciousness in a way that nothing else can.  In my 4o years on this planet, I’ve never actually come across anyone that didn’t like music in some form.  Now, I’ll admit that some forms of music are, to put it lightly, something to be desired.  This post isn’t about that, I’m not knocking anyone’s music interests, rather, this is going to be about an artist that I recently discovered (sort of rediscovered) recently.  I grew up listening to classical music, my mother was a music teacher.  I can remember so many dinners where Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and others played quietly in the background over conversation at the family dinner table.  In fact, the first music I was ever exposed to was traditional classical.  I became aware of how easily emotion could be conveyed through simple notes and tempo and became passionate about music from an early age.

For years, I purchased music in physical form and, if you’ve seen previous posts, I’m sure the racks of CDs take some people back.  This isn’t my entire collection as a lot of the earlier stuff is at my parents house as I no longer own a cassette or vinyl player.  Most of that music is either freely available through a creative commons license or purchased already in digital form.  No need to get into a debate about analog vs. digital here when no human can tell the difference between a song played from vinyl or played from an uncompressed FLAC file.  There are many months where I push the limits of my data allowance to the very edge before it resets.  I personally find the Spotify service absolutely amazing due to the vast library and intuitive recommendations they provide based on what you save, like, etc.  I’m digressing.

The other day, I found Lindsey Stirling again based on a recommendation while listening to William Joseph (if you like modern piano, this dude is one to check out!).  I had listened to Lindsey Stirling a few years back when she was just breaking into the mainstream music scene around 2012.  She had dropped off my radar.  Her style of music is best described as modern classical due to the fact she plays the violin.  In fact, she actually rocks out on a violin where her bow strings start fraying.  Sort of like the 2CELLO guys on the YouTube channel.  What these guys do is amazing and freaking awesome.  You have to watch the Thunderstruck cover they did, freaking awesome!!  Back to Lindsey, I find her music to be deep and when you really, I mean really listen to it with a good set of headphones, there is a depth that you don’t hear in the car or through speakers.  A depth that alters brain patterns and instantly takes you to a calmer place inside your own head.  The music William Joseph performs has a similar effect on me.

I’m amazed at how the right piece of music can electrify a room of people, take it past hearing into feeling and cause a unified reaction.  Listening to pretty much any Italian opera, you don’t need to understand the words they’re saying to “feel” the emotion they’re trying to convey.  Much the same way that acoustic instruments resonate and provide depth to the notes that just doesn’t exist with electrified instruments.  The right music will take your mind on a journey and to say that I’m obsessed and addicted to music is an understatement.  No matter how many times I hear a good piece of music, it always has the same feeling and impact it did when I first listened to it.  A piece of music that never gets old, never becomes boring, and will always stand the test of time.

Considering how much music I’ve listened to in my lifetime, I’ve traveled the world over hundreds of times without ever having left my chair.

Music assistance for my brain

If you’ve been following me for a while and reading the Three Things Thursday posts (thanks to Emily at Full-Grown Nerd for that), you’ll have noticed the full album recommendations at the bottom. Whether you actually listen to them or not is not important, it’s the reason I’m doing in the first place that is important. In my acceptance with introversion, I’ve discovered that music is not nearly as much of a distraction as I had one thought, and in fact, helps me focus and concentrate on processing thoughts and feelings almost as much as writing does.

Since finding Spotify, which I now pay for (small indulgences), I’ve been finding all kinds of new music that I never knew existed thanks to watered down commercial radio. Never having been one to be offended by explicit content, I find that the music that contains it has an undertone of emotion you don’t get with edited or censored content. The service is truly something remarkable in how it uses the music you like, save, and add to playlists to then suggest similar music from various artists around the world. Just today, I found the band Hyper through their Discovery function on the desktop application. It isn’t my typical angry new metal rock that I typically listen to, but it has a very unique type of cadence to it that is mesmerizing. A running joke a few of my readers and I have is that anything we like is actually Russian propaganda disguised in normal things that shifts our mindsets subliminally. I’m onto it and just like the band, LOL

This is the first time I’ve written about how music plays a huge part of my life, but I keep coming back to it and attempt to put it into words that make sense and adequately express how it makes me feel. With my fairly wide tolerance for most music styles and genres, Spotify get confused sometimes so I’ve made playlists that are focused on one type of music and then use the “recommendations” at the bottom of the list to expand to new discoveries. When I see a lot of repeats after refreshing the list a few times, I move onto a different list and come back a few weeks later. It’s crazy how much music is actually out there and each time a song is played, the artist gets a little cut.

Perhaps the best feature that I’ve used extensively is the ability to play music offline without the requirement to have an Internet connection active. I’ve loaded up my 32GB micro SD on my mobile device with lots of offline music that I rotate on a monthly basis after adding my favorite songs to the appropriate play list. All this is done right through the app and its the same experience on the desktop, mobile, tablet, or on the website directly. They’ve done a fantastic job at making the service as seamless and spot on (pun intended) for the user.

As this wasn’t an attempt to sell you on the use of Spotify, it has become that unfortunately. I don’t get paid for referrals, I don’t even have a referral link to share. It’s up to you if you want to spend the $10/month for the service, but when Pandora is only $5/month, its hard to justify if you’re only looking at the cost. Pandora and Spotify are two completely different services. Spotify is like a jukebox you have all the control with and access to tens of millions of songs, Pandora has the same library but you’re at the mercy of their “playlist” and have only partial control with the thumbs up/thumbs down feature.

My brain is happier with me for providing it distraction free background music, sort of like my brains theme song for when it does its thing to keep me sane. I even picked up a set of premium noise-cancelling over-the-ear headphones recently that set me back a bit more than I was comfortable spending, but I saved more than I spent, so it justified the purchase. They’re sitting under the tree at home awaiting me to open them on Christmas as a gift from my wife to me. It’s easier for us to do that, really, we both just “get” what we need when we need it.

How does music fit into your routine? If it doesn’t, what does?

Three Things Thursday – 10/13/2016

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

Bring the happy!

Wawa

wawa

In the northeast, these stores are everywhere.  They are like 7-Eleven, Turkey Hill, Stop N’ Shop, etc.  A convenience store with drinks, coffee, food, and odds and ends type items in a pinch when a grocery store visit is too hard to stomach.  Their coffee is cheap but good, the food is decent, and the people are always helpful and nice.  If I didn’t have my Wawa to hit in the morning or afternoon, I’d be lost.  It’s the store with the funny name!

Burritos

burrito

I have yet to come across anything that I can’t managed to get into a burrito shell.  A local store near me started selling full sized 12″ burrito shells and I’ve been going crazy putting everything I eat into a shell.  Ok, it’d be a little hard to get cereal and milk into a burrito, but give me enough time to experiement, and I’d make it happen.  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a burrito is a definite possibility.

Audits

audits

 I can hear you now, audits suck.  Well, I disagree under certain circumstances.  In this case, I’m enjoying our annual ISO 27001 audit because I was fantastically preprared.  One day into the full two-day audit and not a single issue has been raised yet.  Yes, there is still another day, however the hard controls are behind us and the rest is just fluff.  So, I’m happy that the audit is going awesome as it means I did a good job and I have another year of potential employment 🙂

rockondaughterTTT Music Album Recommendation

Origin
by Dayseeker
great cover of Hello by Adele

Everyone needs music

 

YoungMC
My very first CD purchase and the start of a personal addiction to music

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.

CDCollection
Just a few CDs……