I have been thinking about music recently. I have been thinking of the soundtrack to my life thus far. I, like many many humans on the planet love music. I am not unique in this respect whatsoever. I am sure my tastes differ from many others (although I have such an eclectic taste in music that I can probably accomodate the tastes of quite a few).
Part of the trigger for this post was my teenage daughters horror at having to listen to one of my recent purchases on a recent car ride. I purchased the soundtrack to “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, it is a great album of Indian music. I have a small collection of Indian music. I really like it.
I also particularly like soundtracks to movies. The instrumental kind especially. I liken them to modern classical music, beautifully composed and very evocative. Some of my favourites include the soundtrack to The Mission, the Forrest Gump Suite (which I play very loudly) and most recently the soundtracks to the last few Harry Potter movies composed by Nicholas Hooper. It is not surprising that I have so many soundtrack albums given my love of movies I guess.
My iTunes Match ‘directory’ tells me I have 10,535 songs or about 44 gb of music currently… I had diligently loaded all of my CDs into iTunes over the last few years and have weened myself off CDs. We are a digital music home. At last count there were 7 iPods in our house of various generations and capacity. We have an Apple TV connected to our stereo and several iPod dock capable devices throughout the house. We can stream music from our iPad, iPhones or other gadgets.
It allows me to select music that suits the mood quickly and to rediscover old purchases easily.
Along with soundtracks I really love musicals. I have a good friend who loathes musicals and describes them as ‘those shows where people are mooching about and then suddenly burst into song”. I can’t get enough of them. I really enjoy seeing them live, I’ve seen a few classics while in Melbourne for business over the years. I’ve been introducing Katie to “Annie” and “Oliver” over the last few weeks. Again I have a series of favourites “Jesus Christ Superstar” and the aforementioned orphan fests.
I use music to manage my moods, to help me think, to escape, to dance to and to affirm the good bits of life.
A predominant theme in my collection would be singer songwriters. I have a fondness for clever lyrics – for poetry set to music. Bruce Cockburn, Luka Bloom, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Suzanne Vega, Jackson Browne… they’re all on the most played list.
I have a large collection of classical music. An quirky ‘attribute’ I have is that I cannot concentrate on written work while listening to music with English lyrics. I use classical music or foreign music if I want a background when I am writing. Unusual, but me. I’ve never been a big fan of open plan offices and every now and again rather than ‘go postal’ I will pop on some headphones and crank up some classical music to drown out the chatter.
Music saved me from being zip-tied by a US Air Marshall while flying in the States recently. If it had not been for my beloved noise canceling headphones and the genius of Coldplay the woman next to me with the annoying sniff might have been the cause of my arrest and deportation. I just closed my eyes and was in Para Para Paradise.
The soundtrack to my life will be a bit like the Forrest Gump Suite. It’ll have some slow bits, some loud bits, some bits that will evoke tears and some bits that make one want to laugh or dance. You’re welcome to hum along.