Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happiness is...discovering new music!

I love listening to music.  There's just something about a melody that connects to your soul and emotions in ways that nothing else can.  A few notes of song can reverse the clock and take you back to your childhood.  Change the notes and you may find yourself instantly in high school, feeling the rush of your first love or the devastation of that first broken heart.  Music captures the highs and lows and recreates them better than any time machine, for better or for worse.

I grew up in a home filled with music.  My parents took us to the young persons symphony programs when we were little and exposed us to their favorite bands from their youth.  My little brothers and sister and I would drag our kitchen bar stools into the front room, pull out the record player and sing back-up into wooden spoons,  or with our hands over our ears, mimicking the recording booths we'd seen on TV. (The Carpenters have no idea how much bigger they would have been if they'd only used us!)  Or for those livelier tunes we'd improvise hand gestures and dance movements ala The Supremes. I also spent many a Sunday night at my Grandpa's house listening to his old jazz records and basking in the memories of the first time he heard or saw a certain band and reveling in his opinions as to why this trumpeter was better than that one and such.

It also seemed like every friend I made or life step I took would introduce me to some new type of music or add a new artist to my list of favorites. A friend who'd served a church mission in South America gave me the gift of Luis Miguel and Los Prisioneros.  A short stint at a small rural college dragged me kicking and screaming onto the country train (never to look back, I'm afraid!) Roommates and co-workers have roped me into concerts such as Dan Fogelberg and Pete Yorn.  Dates have taken me to see Sarah McLachlan and Jim Brickman. My sister continually passes on CDs meant to enlighten me in the ways of some of the smaller indie alternative bands.  And then there are the lovely bloggers who are continually throwing out names I've never heard of!

In consequence, my tastes are rather eclectic and run through everything from JS Bach to Dave Brubeck,  The Beatles to Bon Jovi, James Taylor to Taylor Swift, The Killers to the King's Singers, Lady Antebellum to Belle and Sebastian, Neil Diamond to Diamond Rio, Frank Sinatra to Moonlight Sonata, and just about everything in between (minus most rap and most techno or R&B stuff.)  The only true criteria I have is that the music fits my mood and be sing-along-able.  If the music or message is too crass or unintelligible for me to join in at the top of my lungs then it probably won't make the cut.  Anything else is pretty much fair game.

And I'm always on the lookout for something new and interesting to add to my collection.  This is the latest discovery, take a listen!

Ms. Gledhill has been around for a little while but started out in the Christian music scene before branching out to reach a more widespread audience.  This is the title song from her latest album.  I just love her fun sound.  Everything of hers I've listened to so far is upbeat and full of a slightly shabby chic-ish sort of charm that makes you want to smile and sing-along. (Or ride a carousel.  Don't you just love the vintage carousel in the video?) It's the perfect thing to listen to if you need a quick pick-me-up.  How can you feel low after listening to that?

Reader, who is your favorite artist?  What are your favorite kinds of music? What part does music play in your life? Are there any other artists you suggest I explore and discover?  On this cold and blustery winter Wednesday, do me a favor. Find your favorite piece, take a few minutes to just listen to it play.  Close your eyes, sing along if it's appropriate and just BE the music.  You have my permission! 

No comments:

Post a Comment