I’ve noticed I haven’t discussed music in a while. In fact, I haven’t discussed music on my blog yet. This is strange for me, as I talk and debate about music almost everyday.
So on that note, here I go!
Music to me is very important. It has been so since 1989 when I was invested into my local Scout Group. On my investiture meeting, a Miss. Anne Etheridge was there to talk about the new Scout band she had established, and was trying to recruit new members. I can remember running to my Mum and Dad and asking for permission to join, and of course, my parents gave their consent.
So my musical career began. I decided the trumpet was the instrument for me, and the first time I went to a band meeting I was a complete nervous wreck. I have never told anybody this, but the first time I was handed a trumpet and told to blow, I simply put the piece of brass to lips and hummed. About an hour later, Anne got me to play my first sound. It shocked me so much that I gasped and the noise stopped. From that moment, I quickly grew quite proficient at playing and after many years of practicing, I soon became the bands lead trumpeter and we eventually became a National Class Marching Band.
However, through my early teens, I was somewhat restricted to marching band music, and didn’t really realise that there was a whole new world of different noises out there. At about 15, I realised other music when my friend Simon came into school with a cassette of Blur Country House. After listening to it, I was quite excited. I liked it! More so, I wanted to know more about this music.
Moving onto college, I decided I should study Music A-Level, with my trusty new Bach Trumpet. I was so proud. I finally owned a decent instrument, and still do to this day. Music A-Level was incredibly difficult, but it did open my eyes to music. It made me realise that different people appreciate different things, and how music is derived from other music. So much so, I could quite happily sit here and tell you how the Spice Girls Wannabe can be traced back to monks chanting to their Lord. I learned about changes in music both on a local scale and on an international scale. How thought determines music, and how music can determine thought.
In other words, my mind was opened!
At about this time, I discovered popular music and started to buy CDs that interested me. After a while, I noticed my taste led me in certain directions. The first album I can remember buying was (and I apologise for this) Natalie Imbruglia’s Left Of The Middle. And I don’t know why I am apologising for this; I actually still listen to it occasionally! From there I developed a taste for Blur and Oasis, but it wasn’t until I found Radiohead that I really opened my ears. I had bought a compilation that had Creep on it, and my musical life had developed a little bit further.
From Creep, I bought the album (Pablo Honey), and then The Bends, which is (in my opinion) the greatest Radiohead album ever, and a strong contender for Best Ever Album, Ever!
From Radiohead, I found Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Muse, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen, Incubus, Coldplay, Travis, the Chilli Peppers etc.
My music collection spans many a genre, and includes the greats like Vaughn Williams and Benjamin Britten, to the artists above and many more. I appreciate music for what it is, and even if I do not like it, I still appreciate it for being music. There is no such thing as bad music. If it is bad, it simply isn’t to your liking. I personally find the Spice Girls to be simple and basic. They used very simple chordal structure and had very basic controls with their songs. But they sold millions, and probably made millions. And you cant knock that!?
I listen to a lot of 20th Century music, which includes Vaughn Williams, Britten, Glass, Williams and Cage. I also listen to Mozart, Taverner, Beethoven, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov. All of whom have a unique style, often reflecting their place in the world at the time of composing.
Music doesn’t have to be music. It can be complete silence if it wishes.
Just close your eyes. Relax your muscles and breathe deeply. Allow your shoulders to fall and your head to sink. And now listen
That hum is traffic, but it is also music. That faint siren is a car alarm, but it is also music. The gurgling noise is the kettle boiling, but it is also music. The words, Ollie, your freaking me out! is also music. (In fact, language really is music, but I’ll save that for another day.) Sound surrounds us, and is an everyday part of our lives. Embrace it and empower it.