Music has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. My earliest memories are of my mom singing in our church choir. Now, we went to a little country church in the middle of nowhere, just down the road from where we lived. You’d think, country church = old lady voices all over the place. This choir was so far from it. We had this retired couple with giant voices and giant personalities who were part of this group. He directed, she sang, and the choir rocked. This is where I gained an appreciation for gospel music, because this was unlike any music I’d heard. Big, bold, joyous sound every single time they performed for our church.
That led to my being part of band and choir throughout my middle and high school years. I loved to sing and perform, and I was good at it. While I wasn’t with true music nerds, it was close enough. These group sustained me as I struggled through those years. I never fit. I didn’t have the clothes, the car, the connections, and I was uber quiet, so while there are good memories here and there, for the most part, it was not a pleasant experience. Music kept me sane. I could go talk to my music teacher about life. I loved playing the tuba. I loved singing bass. I love performing in small groups and feeling the connection created through a song. And honestly, while performing on stage terrified me, I loved it as well. The quiet guy getting up and singing in front of a packed auditorium, it was my court or field. Between music and speech, made high school bearable.
College, I found true music nerds. I sang in the college choir for three years, and loved that too. We did a couple of regional trips and they were amazing. I sang with a dozen basses and was amazed at their music knowledge and the mischief they’d create. We did not like our director, not at all, so we’d mess with him. We’d hold a chord and we basses would create really off note. Everyone would cringe. He’d stop, look around, and we’d try it again. That off note would hit, so he’d go through sections. Everyone would be spot on, so we’d sing as a group, and there’s that note. Then, he’d eyeball us, and go through each of us, singing our part. Again, we’d be spot on. Oh he’d be irritated with us. This is where I met my music nerd (and English major) wife, singing. The music we’d sing gave me chills, made me laugh, and brought joy to each of us, even though we didn’t always want to admit it.
Today, music is just present in all I do. As we write, we listen to the BGM Channel or Cafe Music BGM offering up live streams of various low key jazz styles of music. I love these because there are no words to distract us, it’s just music. I also will stream Chillhop Music, again, no words, but something with a big of bass to it. A new streaming channel I’ve discovered is IRMA Records, which is very similar to the Chillhop, but it has some different animations to it. If I’m playing that in class, the kids get distracted, so I’ll keep the projector off! 🙂 Finally, I really like Immortal Swing, a live stream and collection of eletroswing music. This is what I need when I’m looking for an energy boost. For the “I’m into this sort of music” I have
Michael Franti is a favorite of mine. His songs are so dang positive and uplifting that my dark, cold heart is lighten while listening. I love some house music and Mia Amare was know for “Happy House Music”. As her brand has grown, she doesn’t do those sets as much, but her skills as a DJ are excellent. Another great DJ I’ve found is one called Nora En Pure. Her style of deep house is so relaxing, yet energizing. And finally in Vivian Chen’s blog, Musical Monday, she talks about a folk group from Ukraine called DakhaBrakha . This style of music is so new to me and because of this, it is so fresh! I love hearing from others about what they listen to and Vivian’s tastes run similar to mine, so with her sharing this, I’ve got another group to add to my YouTube channels.
So, what’s new with you in your musical finds? What role has music played in your life? I’d love to hear about your tastes and how it powers you.
Because the more we connect, the more we know about each other.
And it makes conversations about the tough things, easier.
Something we need right now!