Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Thank you

Image result for thank you meme

How is it going?

I have been watching a documentary series called 'Soundbreaking' it is excellent and I can not recommend it highly enough. It is everything I wanted to talk about in this space, but done by people who know what they are talking about because they are the ones that did it.

The series goes through everything from the recording process, musical formats, the vocal abilities of some, the impact of video, and so on and so forth. Each show of which there are 10 starts with a premise and then runs through the evolution of it all. So there is a lot of history of music and progression in it as well. Which is great because so many documentaries start at 1959 or later and say this is when music started, obvious rubbish.

Some music for you

Towards the end of the last episode they start to conclude and there were two comments that really struck a chord with me.

The first one was DMC , from Run DMC obviously, who says that music makes us who we are. That there are 20 - 30 albums that define us and help to explain us as people. I think this is possibly true, maybe, for those of us who love music, I think non aficionados would struggle to name 30 albums and would also possibly not have the in depth knowledge of those albums to say that they explain them as a person. They also probably don't care to. 

Thinking about this it occurred to me that it is very difficult to say that there are even 20 albums, full entire albums, that define me. I mean there are some albums that have hugely informed my life and there are others that I think I have identified with. For example, in the court of the Crimson King by King Crimson is an album I love. Love, I think it is an amazing piece of work and it has spawned a love of Prog, prog metal and generally complicated music. Could I give it to someone and say, this is one of the albums you need to listen to in order to know me? Not without a lot of explanation to be honest. Even to person with a similar or hopefully better musical knowledge than myself I think it would take a fair bit of explanation. The difference between 21st Century Schizoid man and Epitaph , both of the same original side of the album, is huge and explaining why or how the songs work for me is not something I am sure I fully understand myself.In fact I know that I cant fully explain it to myself.

I am not able to play any King Crimson for you because there are copyright issues with youtube. Not my personal ones but obviously one between them and the band, so. So, instead I am going to put on two songs from Wish, by The Cure. How does Friday I'm in love and Edge of the deep green sea, exist in the same personality?

Obviously they come from the same songwriting person/group and so there must be a part of that on their side. But for me, no.

Can you then distill it and then say well it can be songs and not albums? I think that this is getting closer to the point. Because as DMC also says, there is a part of a song, a note, a chord change, a riff, a vocal something that transports you to another time and memory and as such, almost by definition it means that it is a part of you. The distinction being of course that just because it does this it doesnt mean it is something that you want to acknowledge so much. It doesn't mean it doesn't define you in some way, but a song with negative or painful memories might not want to be something you add to a list. You should, but again it would take me a lot of explanation to point out the various reasons behind it.

I think the reality is that there are songs and indeed albums that fit into all kinds of categories which then you could use to paint a picture of your life. An album you listened to a lot when something was going on in your life, a song that was played in every store you went into at some stage, a song that you totally identify with, some music that paints a picture of someone you aspire to be. It is all different and it is all fantastically entirely yours and yours alone.

You will be pleased to know that I am not going to go through all of the songs and or albums I think do this for me. I don't really know what they would be, although it is something I might do for fun and as this blog now has such low readership it wouldn't really matter.

It does however lead me into the second comment that stuck with me. Annie Lennox, what a voice by the way, said that she would like to say thank you to all of the artists who have made music.

I could not agree with this more. I feel we are very lucky to live in an age where we are able to listen to anything we like, of which I will write more about in another post, and all that great music has meant so much to me. So much of it I couldn't even come close to composing myself.

In thinking how to say thank you in a way that made any sense it has occurred that it is all progression isn't it. Without Blues we would not have had any rock or metal. Without Disco no Electronica. Without Country no folk. Without Prog no punk, it is also a reaction that causes influence. No Motown, no R&B. From Funk and Rap, no Jazz then no more . . . jazz . . .just joking.

My point being that it is the culmination of what the artists have absorbed and what they want to say and express that leads them to record what we then listen to and because of that we all owe a huge thank you to them all.

So thank you, thank you so much because without you all the world would be a far poorer, less interesting and thought provoking place.

a little apology to the jazz fans.