Letters About Music.
Not a very exciting title is it? It doesn’t need to be because I am going to explore the vast and most diverse art form ever created: music.
That’s a bold claim. How do I plan to back it up? Why should you read this blog over any of the others out there?
My credentials are not academic or genre specific. I’m not in a band or an orchestra (although I badly play a few instruments) and I don’t write music. I do love to sing (also badly)and will attempt just about anything in or out of my range. There is no single genre that I know so completely that I consider myself an authority in. These are hardly sterling recommendations.
I do have one advantage over many music writers out there. I was born in 1961 and never heard a Beatles song until 1978. That’s right, I lived through a pivotal decade in modern music and missed all of it. How is that an advantage? Well, I have no nostalgic attachment to any of it. The first time I heard “Yesterday” I think it was performed by Chet Atkins or maybe Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. My childhood was filled with Bluegrass, Country (my dad’s choice) and Easy Listening and Classical (my Mother’s choice. The first cassettes I ever bought were 1776 Broadway cast, Logan’s Run Soundtrack and, This is The Big Band Era (really great RCA compilation of original recordings)
This allows me to evaluate music from a different perspective.
My love of music cuts cross just about every type of music out there. Some people love rock or punk or opera or country and that’s where it stops. When you say music, that’s what they hear, whatever it is they prefer. When I hear the word “music”, I hear music; everything from “The Elder Eddas sang in Icelandic Played on Authentic Medieval Instruments” to Lady GaGa.
My actual education was/is in history, specifically Ancient and American but I have studied in many fields so I also bring a multi-discipline approach to my analysis. I have read dozens of critical works, biographies of artists and histories of music, talked with musicians about music and listened to hundreds upon hundreds of hours of music. I don’t mean just letting it play and nodding my head to it, actually listening to it.
So take a look. If you have a suggestion about something you would like to hear more about or some esoteric artist you think I should hear about, drop me a line.