Saturday

A request to you, the reader

A request to the reader

4 comments:

Gary Kemble said...

something about life after an EMP has wiped out all computers. plz.

katie said...

Wow. What an offer! The field is so wide I don't know which direction to run... I'd love a piece about your first music-related memory please. (Mine was Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" on my parent's reel-to-reel. It opens with a glass smash and my brother and I adored it.)

rino said...

Gary - stand by.

Katie, this one I prepared earlier, but suits your request perfectly (but I might still type something):

Know what I love about music? Music itself? That it expresses everything that’s great about humanity, and nothing of what’s petty, mean and despicable. In terms of the good things, there’s carried emotion and passion, group collaboration and community, there’s excitement and dance. It enhances life and experience. It goes straight for the heart like nothing else can. It can comfort and disturb. It’s one of our supremely creative and exploratory media. It can tell stories and broaden the soul; it can bring and bond people together.

What I love about music is the feeling encased within it. The way it can pack an emotion, a vibe or a feeling which becomes part of our memorable experience, a part of how we see and react to the world. How it triggers past states of mind and fragile emotional memories; how we can revisit those states. It’s obvious in the way we colour our lives with music – songs for every occasion – because it enhances the laying down of memories. That shall be my first criteria for music: know it by the vibe or feeling it engenders and the quality of mind aroused. And in creating music, the same: pursue and develop the unique vibe affect; build from the emotional connection up and out; to embellish only in service to the vibe.

What I love about music I felt in its earliest emotional affect and curiosities: driving home in the car with my father, sitting in the front listening to some catchy/peculiar hit on the radio. I enjoyed the song, enjoyed listening in. When we arrived, my father didn’t straightaway kill the ignition: he left the radio on so we could hear the song to its end. He seemed to pick up on it too, the vibe, or my enjoying it.

Another time, listening to the radio in my brother’s room – about seven years of age. A song came on. I can’t remember if it had a drum solo or a rhythm break or just a prominent mix, but I remember being impressed by the feeling/emotion of the drums. That drums could even convey feeling or affect, either by sound, impact or playing. A small revelation.

Another time, yakking with a friend about Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll, a big hit with all the kids at the time. It was such a dirty sound, so raucous but so good. That girls could sing like that! I remember playing the song on a tape recording (I was always recording stuff on tapes) and playing the guitar solo a few times, explaining (maybe a little pompously) that it sounded like he was destroying the guitar. Now, having learnt a few things about the electric guitar since then, it’s very much a coherent and expressive solo all right, no destruction at all. But as a kid I was reacting to the peculiar nature of distortion, and liking it.

Another time, listening to Just an Illusion, and asking my mother how they got that sound (ie the bass) and she not being sure.
Another time, watching a TV performance, wondering why the guitarist would sound quiet and rhythmic one minute (or not at all) and much louder and prominent when playing the lead line. How did he make that happen? Was he playbacking?

Another time, not understanding lighting very well, wondering why singers always got drenched in sweat so quickly. Me (quietly) making the screaming motions into my fist for ten whole minutes, and not even raising a sweat.

Another time: listening devotionally to Abba and BoneyM. At a later time, learning to understand the lyrics and the light of comprehension going on in wonder at all this English already in my head.

cheers!

katie said...

Wonderful! Thank you Mr Rino.
Even as a kid you could explain music better than I could: "destroying" his guitar. Love it.
Although it is a bit concerning that you learned English from Abba ;)

x K