Yesterday I talked about the books that changed my life - today I thought I'd share another passion of mine that has also changed my life for the better and continues to challenge, surprise and delight me.
I can't remember life without music. My father worked (still works) in radio and was a musician, so the radio was always playing in our house, or music would be being played through the stereo or by Dad in his music room. He introduced me to the Beatles, who were his great heroes. With his encouragement, I enthusiastically learned piano, the guitar and the violin as a child. My enthusiasm, like that of most children, was short lived and when I wasn't able to play Fur Elise or Wild Thing after a few lessons, I called it quits. That and the nasty nun who taught the violin at my school used to rap us on the knuckles with the bow.
I used to love getting up early on the weekends (why? screams my 28 year old self) to watch Rage - an Australian music video broadcast program that goes all night, and the Top 10 generally starts showing at about 10 in the morning! I used to love watching my favourite music videos - this was the era of Janet Jackson and her dance moves - and try and copy the choreography. Rage was usually where I found out what was cool.
Not that I enjoyed everything that was cool. I hated heavy metal and grunge, at the time when it was cool. I didn't get into Nirvana, for example, until much, much later. I just played what I enjoyed listening to. Which, embarrassingly, included Mariah Carey and East 17 (it was 1993 remember!!).
These days I love just about any music. There is very little I won't listen to - except for death metal!
I think what I love most about music is its ability to be a time capsule of sorts - when you hear a certain song, the memories you have of the time it came out, or when you first listened to it, come flooding back. They are so fresh and potent you can almost smell the orange cordial at the school social, the carpet in the living room in your childhood home, the smoky nightclub, the aftershave of the man you were dancing with, or the upholstery in your first car and the way the wind felt against your face as you drove home with the windows down, music blaring....
It is wonderful to be with someone whose passions are similar to your own. When Tom and I first got together, I had to go back to Australia for a month - which was about as easy as cutting off my right arm. The night before I left, he gave me a CD he had made of songs that reminded him of me, and that he wanted to remind me of him while I was away. It melted my heart. While I was away I made him a a CD and posted it back. During the next eight months, when we could only see each other at weekends, we made CDs for each other and posted them. They featured artists that we loved and wanted the other to be introduced to, and hopefully love as well. Tom introduced me to some amazing artists, and we've also discovered some together as well. Most of the songs that are meaningful to us aren't really dance-y, so I don't know what our first dance at our wedding will be. Tom keeps joking it should be to "Let's Dance" by David Bowie!!
Here's a small selection of musos and albums that currently rock my world:
And here are some that have rocked my world for a very long time: