Okey-dokey, so now it's time to talk about music and why I returned to it. At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinkin' I could never live without you by my – ok so I won't quote all of "I Will Survive"...I'll let you let Gloria Gaynor do that right here.
Wait wait wait...before I get to the point, try this game with someone: work a conversation toward the words "At First I Was Afraid" and carefully recite like it's spoken word the rest of the lyrics, OR if you want to be really tricky, replace "you" with whatever the subject is or just anything you find overwhelmingly frustrating. No lie: I've made it well into the second verse before the someone had to ask what on earth I was saying and why I was so poetic and yet dogmatic about it. Seriously, people can be gullible...and I know, because I sure am.
Now that intro wasn't just another mindless red herring, it's the unsolved conundrum to my once religiously purist classical self that left me finally giving into the beat of rock and roll. Well, not quote so melodramatic but close. As the closing of part two in this story suggested, classical music lacked a certain unbridled outpouring of emotion that my personality so desperately needed. First, though, let me go back to my childhood...
Dexter's Laboratory was a good clean Cartoon Network classic but and representative of a time in my life desperately drooling for healthy life parameters as distinct from propriety and religion, however overlapping they periodically be. Homeschooled all twelve years, composing music at 7 years old, beginning my professional violin solo life at 9 – there's a lot to tell. My family's roots in Slovakian Orthodox growing to a fundamentalistic evangelical Christian upbringing by the time I was born confounded by my father's mega-church pastorate and such...all made for a heavily one-sided foundation for my formative years...to put it mildly, I grew up in a bubble.
The above is now how I see religious people debating each other.
Anyway, as I've said repeatedly now, no reason to rehash negativities of life, but on the flip side, ignoring it can be just as lopsided a response. Long-story-short, I'm a recovering Southern Baptist. What does this have to do with choosing music again and why? Because sometimes we have to run from what was forced upon us until we understand it for what it is. Then we can evaluate without bias. Just like spirituality, my encounter with music went from imposed upon me, to embracing it as a hill to die on, to a default lifestyle because it was what I was best at, to slowly walking away completely, to finally understanding it is my something so deeply and inexplicably a part of my nature, I belong to it. I think that's the best place to be. Yes, more could be said here, but there's no need to attempt to describe what cannot be said in words, as Johannes Brahms once said was the very need for music...a concept admittedly made rather less profound after that bubble collision above. Anyway, still applies, I found what I'd been lacking in music when I revisited pop music from an intellectual stand point – this coming from someone with a two bachelors in music and a masters degree in music composition. In a message to my friend, I was able to articulate some of my feelings (it's not short, but neither is Donald Trump's dick,
according to him...and you still want to read about what he has to say; I guarantee this concept bears far more merit):
"Most things of sublime levels worth hearing, seeing, or experiencing, or even creating, I've done. I'm just enjoying life now and seeing where it takes me. I feel no rush anymore...I always did before. I always my whole life felt this inexplicable urgency, like I shouldn't have too much recreational time or whatever because I had so many things to accomplish. Not anymore. I have a serene state of mind. Rather zen actually.
Classical music, compared to pop, is the baroque definition of "SUBLIME". A bit exhaustingly perfect/high-aiming at times. In pop can I find true freedom. Giving up the technique in interest of expounding ones own artistry for itself...that's my "pop"
I feel liberated. I don't care which genre as long as its good quality with integrity in its creativity. Too many barriers in Classical for me to see it as an end in and of itself. Just a means to an end...for me anyway. The lack of integrity is what was my put-off about pop for so long. So many pop music lovers and musicians of all genres seemed to lack serious quality or integrity. Then I discovered the electronic music world. Electro- anything is the new classical. The true electro artists pay as much attention or more than any student of classical music I've seen. They work tirelessly on binaural panning, for instance, a difference only statistically a minute percentage of listeners will ever have the truly good speakers to enjoy.
This is not a "rock" band just "jamming out" like a mental masterbation. The electronic artists are keen on all things subtle...we can control your balance. I used to do this on bets in college with my friends. I'd invite them into the studio and ask them to listen to something for two minutes standing up in the middle of the room. We'd play a simple song, but with four speakers around them and bending space with the sound waves. They always fall over. Fun stuff.
Most people not only have only two speakers, but low grade ones, like earbuds which just compress sound. They cut out the uppermost harmonics and lower inverse harmonics (if you believe in inverse harmonics...). Anyway...it's why I love a good loop, that is, a simple solid chord group...like the ones in "Mishima Closing", Philip Glass' third string quartet's final movement. They are simple, beautiful, and change slow enough to really appreciate the intricacies and phenomena of sound...just sound itself – the whole point in minimalism.
Technically, when I perform Tchaikovsky concerto, you're appreciating the creativity of organization...that's the focus...not sound itself, although the former could not exist without the latterIn classical we focus intently upon the organization of fixed pitches. Nothing wrong with thatJust that sometimes my mind at the end of a long day doesn't want to appreciate one more filing cabinet reorganizationAfter a while it's like the same files all keep getting recolor coded. Reorganized. Out in new drawers. Painted etc.
Frankly, most pops musicians don't have the foundation to understand composition in the form I can describe so I'm a bit rare in this field.
For me, my electronic music is a chance to pull out each piece of paper and analyze it...the ink, the smell, the damage over time, the textures and kinesthetic aspects. It's easier to talk about with someone who already has a mastery of classical. It's not the same discussing what I just said with a person whose idea of pop has always been playing an electric guitar in their parents garage, working at CVS their whole life and gawking at real creators they'll never meet. It's not that there's anything wrong with that, but it lacks a lot when you've been made aware of more. Talking to a classically trained person, not just in technique, but in history and ideology...that is when pop music and "power chords" have REAL power.
We already put it all into practice in many, many, many different organizations and permutations and combinations (compositions by different composers of different ages in history). Now it's time for the future....me ;) lol...it's time to look at the elements of music a new way. Have you ever just fallen in love with a BbMajor chord in second inversion? We have come to the point in history where I cannot even describe the three pitches/frequencies without using terms of relevance to musical harmony and theory from classical traditions. If you take it out of context and just let the mind flow, you might discover it can go anywhere...but even more beautifully perhaps...it could go no where."
Here's another great minimalistic sound from Max Richter's "On The Nature Of Daylight" with Dinah Washington's "This Bitter Earth" superimposed carefully over it.
Your "sap" in us, that loves those hair-raising moments in music, is a primal connection to something deeper than the organization of pitches and the theories behind their progressions and all the kings horses and all the kings men of classical academia. It is a connection to resonance. We all are resonating and moving on earth at approximately 67,000 miles per hour through time and space, bending both as we go...probably has something to do with it.
That's more than enough for today. Part 4's a'comin'! See you next Tuesday.