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Monday, January 14, 2013


if music be the food of life

i had one of those ‘oh wow’ thoughts while i was sitting listening to a recital of schubert’s ‘death and the maiden’, in the glorious surrounds of hawksmoor’s wonderful christ church when i realised i don’t listen to music as much as i used to.

i came to music late on. sure i listen to pop on the radio; enjoying the sounds of bands like the osmonds, jackson 5, mud, the sweet, slade, 10cc and others. yet music wasn’t really into it – no buying the melody maker or nme for me, bit even a smash hits.

around about the 5th form when a large number of my contemporaries stated getting excited about the new music genre of punk i finally woke up to the world of music.
i did this by ignoring punk.
it wasn’t that i was trying to find something new and different to listen to – it was just that i wasn’t sure what i wanted to listen to.  the first few albums (12 inches of wonderful vinyl) i bought included manhattan transfer’s ‘coming out’, meatloaf’s ‘bat out of hell’ and moody blues ‘live + five’. these were quickly followed by albums featuring bruce springsteen, king crimson, frank zappa.
with the help of radio shows such as tommy vance and nicky horne i found more music. with the help of school mates even more music was found and shared.
my love of music had started.

now i don’t claim to have any special knowledge of music - i couldn’t tell a triplet from a 4/4 beat and i get lost among the various sub-genres that dot the music landscape: emo? shoegaze? speed, death or black metal? who knows? who cares?
so while i was listening to ‘death and the maiden’ i was happy to admit that i know nothing about classical music beyond there is a lot of it that i like.
it is the same with other music. i may not know much about the theory of music, i don’t really know much about the history of music i couldn’t do a rock tree family history ala pete frame, and i know even less about trends in music.
to be honest it doesn’t bother me that i don’t. why? because i want to like the music for what it is and for what it does for me and to me.

i don’t care if the music i like is considered to be old hat, passé, rubbish or boring. i listen to it to make me feel something. i want to be entertained. i want to think ‘hey that was pretty good’. like art i can be moved by some work because at an emotional level it has moved me, and there are times when i can appreciate something on an intellectual level because of the work that has gone into.

i have a lot of music. most of it would fall into the broad category of heavy metal/hard rock.
there used to be a time when a day wouldn’t go by without me listening to a few albums; now not so much. nowadays i am more likely to be watching a dvd or listening to chat or sport on 5live. as the strings played schubert i decided that it is time to get back to listening to music.

time to dust off the stereo, open some cd cases and play some tunes.

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