Thursday, September 3, 2009

Music Defines Us!

I am not an expert on music but I love to listen and to play. The expressions of life are not complete without music. Growing up in the 60s and 70s I was in tune with Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, James Taylor and Cat Stevens. I listened to just about anything but there were certain tunes that defined me. When I was in a creative writing class in high-school I was introduced to lyrics and the meaning behind songs. I remember listening to Vincent (Vincent VanGogh) and American Pie (Buddy Holly) and for the first time understood somewhat what was behind Don McClain's vision. From then on I would enjoy the tunes but I would key in on the lyrics. Summer music, the Beach Boys, ELO and any other beachy tunes bring back poignant memories. I can actually hear the surf in my ears and smell the salt water in the air.

Found on

In 1976 I went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and we were relegated to classical music. At first I was disappointed but that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I remember reading a book about the life of Christ to Rockmaninoff. Every time I read about a miracle the music would crescendo and the room would fill up with an electrical atmosphere causing the hair to stand up on my arms and a light to fill the room. I love classical music to this day and there are definite times in my life when it fits and I actually need it.

I never listened to rock much until my later years. The music of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith are among my favorites. There is a wave in the atmosphere that this music touches and instead of being the loud and obnoxious sounds of yesteryear I find it to be balanced and again mood fitting and artistic.

My oldest son was into Rap and at first I refused to listen (Probably because some of the lyrics were pretty offensive to me). He would download or purchase the radio versions, and I found myself absorbed in the artistry that was there. The pure street sound drew a picture of the 90s. I have found myself at times absorbed in older folk music and music from the 40's and before. What great tunes representing the era's in which they were created.

I do not believe that there is anything better to represent history and the times than the music which is created within the parameters of the artists life. It is true that some music lasts forever. Those songs are timeless and the artists write beyond their years and of course time itself.

Now I find myself looking for music to match my moods. I write my own songs and I will soon record them. I think every musician wants to share their music because it tells us who they are. It makes a profound statement about the subject it personifies, and gives us unique insights that we need, to understand others as well as ourselves.

It is unsettling to me that we value music little enough, to make it one of the first subjects in school that we get rid of when the budget crunch hits. Even with those cuts, musical artists will continue to evolve. I appreciate the creativity of those around me, who have given me so much through their music. It has been a large part of molding me into the person I have become. It is my hope that it will do the same for my posterity.