Music


Today’s daily prompt asks what role music plays in your life.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/daily-prompt-music/

From a very early age music has been a big part of my life. More listening and watching than playing up until recently.

My tastes are wide and varied, from classical and opera, to rock and heavy metal, jazz and blues, stage musicals to traditional I love it all. My least liked music is pop and country, though I do have a few artists from those genres that I listen to. My favourite and most listened to music is Mozart, U2, the Eagles, Kate Bush and Stereophonics.

What do I like about music? I just love any music that touches me and has meaning to me. For example, one of my favourite artists, Kate Bush, I love all of her work and still get chills listening to Wuthering Heights. I first read the book because of the song and have loved the story ever since, I think that song really gets to the heart of the book and tells the whole story in 3 minute song. Amazing when you think that Kate was in her teens when she wrote it. Similarly with Mozart music, he is the only classical composer that I like every single piece of his work. I like many composers but not all of their work. I like to have music on as often as possible I find it has a calming effect on me. I think it is like the feeling you get when you eat something really tasty, you get a warm satisfied glow through your body, that is what music does for me.

As I mentioned music has played a big part in my life from an early age. One thing music has done for me is winning many competitions on the radio. The main reason this is because I can remember many lines from songs and I have been able to get through and use this ability to win a number of times. Prizes have ranged from $10,000 to videos, concert tickets, CD’s and tickets to the football. So this is another good thing about music in my life.

Another aspect is watching. I have seen so many concerts and stage shows, from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to U2 (twice), The Eagles, Kenny G, The Police to Les Miserables and many more. Concerts add another dimension to the music you hear on the radio or through other mediums, the top performers are the ultimate professionals, giving their all for every performance. Yes, they get lots of money but you can see by the way they perform they love what they are doing.

The final aspect is playing music. I have been trying to play guitar since I was 13, and only in the last 14 years have I really been able to play anything. I have taught myself to read music and have a large collection of printed music that I pull out and play often. I often sit and have a tinker on the piano too, though nothing to put down on record. I love playing music, though I would prefer playing along with others because my singing voice is deplorable and takes away some of the enjoyment.

So yes music plays a big part in my life.

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We have all done it, sang along with a song and thought we were singing it right.  Only to find the actual lyrics or even worse been corrected by friends who are laughing at your stupidity.

A couple of mine –

Mad World – I heard “…tried to debt for a deadly oasis…” which is actually “…bright and early for the daily races…”

Golden Brown – I heard “…with my mancheros…” which is actually “…with my mind she runs…”

So they are just a couple of many gaffes I have sung, sometimes in a drunken state, loud and WRONG!

Now I am sure there are many of you out with similar word mess ups, so I thought I would share this with so you can feel relieved and never have the need to be embarrassed ever again.

This lady was actually claiming she was singing in English, the song is supposed to be Without You – Harry Nilsson, Air Supply and Mariah Carey. This lady, bless her, introduced her rendition as Ken Lee!! Watch and you will understand, there are English subtitles, for whatever good they are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQt-h753jHI

 

 

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, and having a taste for all types of music, there were a lot of quirky songs that hit the airwaves. The type of song I am referring to are the really popular songs that are really insubstantial in terms of quality, but obviously they capture a generations imagination. Often these songs are one hit wonders. Whether the performers were unable to back it up with anything different or less quirky or whether they just took the money and ran!

The list of songs I present here is not necessarily my favourite songs or even songs I have any desire to hear again, it is merely a list of the quirky songs I have encountered in my life. Those with a bit of a review are the ones I can remember vividly, and yes I do sit here slapping my head to try and get those catchy but annoying tunes out of my ears! (more…)

A performance of Lucia di Lammermoor Melbourne...

A performance of Lucia di Lammermoor Melbourne City Opera at BMW Edge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night we went to the Opera for the first time. We have been to musicals in the West End, seen the ballet, classical concerts and some opera singers with these, but never to the Opera itself. Now we don’t consider ourselves artsy fartsy or even overly cultured, we just like to vary what we see and do.

Our only exposure to a full Opera is watching Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, which we enjoyed, though we thought it was slightly long at 3 hours. The Opera we saw was Lucia di Lammermoor at His Majesty’s in Perth. Our first concern was what to wear, working in a professional environment I get dressed up for work every day, so I don’t want to get too dressed up on the weekend. It was also quite cold so we thought we would just wear casual comfortable clothes. Ooops so many people dressed to the nines, but that is their choice. We also wore warm clothing because of the cold, second oops, the heater in the theatre was set to high, and with a full house it became quite stifling. Gaining a migraine from the event was not something I had planned.

Anyway we got to our seats, on the third level but in the middle, and waited in anticipation. Fortunately there were subtitles in our field of vision our minimal Italian was not going to spoil the event. The show was split into 3 acts, with a scene change in each act. I am not going to go into the story as it is the typical love tragedy, similar to Wuthering Heights. The main singers were fantastic and the orchestra was really good too, though hard to see from our lofty position. All in all we enjoyed the show, and like Figaro, we felt it was very long. Would recommend it to people wanting to experience something different, but make sure you are well rested before so you don’t get the noddy’s like I did.

I have seen many live performances in my life and am in awe of their ability to overcome their nerves and perform with such skill.

When living in Brunei I had the opportunity to provide back up guitar for a classically trained singer, Amy Coulshaw. Now I have never thought that my abilities were anything more than rudimentary and just for my pleasure really. However, given the opportunity to play in front of an audience and support a talented singer I thought, why not. At least I have one of my bucket list items checked off.

What amazes me is the ability for seasoned performers to overcome that nervousness and play their instruments with precision. My hands and legs were shaking so much I am surprised that the notes didn’t have a continuous vibrato!

All that being said I am glad I did it, but I don’t think I would pluck up the courage to ever do it again and I will stick to playing for my pleasure…

Thanks Amy for the opportunity and thank you to all the amazing performers out there who give us all pleasure and have that ability to overcome their fears and stage fright.

Songbird

I Know You By Heart

Some people thrive on name dropping. They look for every opportunity to say they have met or know this person or that person. Do they think that the fame will rub off or that others will be impressed because they know this person or that person? Maybe it is just an ice breaker for some people, like those of us that are socially inept and don’t know how or where to start a conversation or even join in. For me though meeting or having met notable people is not really something that I dwell on or use to impress, though I have met a few.I sat down and thought about all the people, that have reached some level of fame, that I have either met, spoken to or associated with. So, for one time only, do my share of name dropping. Some of these people may be familiar to you, others not. This is not my intention to big note or anything. I just wondered how many people actually DO know or have met people and don’t talk about it. Whilst others have been in the same train or some other random happening with people and they brag it about constantly as if they are their best friend.

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I am in the last few subjects of a Bachelor of Psychology and Addiction Studies and this has brought on a curiosity about substance addictions. Being an avid reader and fan of music I also have a fascination with books about music and musicians. On my book shelf I have biographies of nine musicians or groups and when I go to the library I will generally get one biography. On a recent trip to the library I picked up “I am the voice left from rehab” the second tragic biography of James Freud, who battled addiction from his teens. Tragically he took his own life in 2010. Of the nine biographies on my shelf only Sting’s “Broken Music” is not about the performers addiction.

Cover of "Scar Tissue"

Cover of Scar Tissue

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