Thursday, January 6, 2011

Music range, how far do you roll?

I've said before that I have a wide range of musical tastes that goes back to the 60s when I was a kid.

In that grouping I would put, Morton Subotnik, Wendy (Walter) Carlos, Glenn Gould, and in later years, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Philip Glass (and others) with such works of theirs as, The Wild Bull, Switched on Bach, Bach Piano Fugues, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, respectively, and only to name a few. Of course, I also liked contemporary rock music of those times, Cream, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull, on and on....

To say the least, my friends thought I was nuts when we were kids. But I've always searched out the Avant Garde, the unusual, the intellectually stimulating, even if I didn't at first (or ever) understand it.

This all came from a conversation with my mother's mother. My Grandmother once told me to always stretch oneself intellectually, to have friends that were above your intellectual capacity, to strive to be more educated. She told me that when you read a book for enjoyment, the next book should be one you don't quite understand in reading it. Or that at least every second or third book should be one that is hard for you to read, to understand; and in that way, you will eventually grow to understand, you will become more intelligent. Don't be afraid to look up words, to ask, to seek understanding.

The same goes, as I translated it, for music. And I've appreciated that greatly ever since. There was a time when I was only into rock. I was a rock snob, this was mostly my teen years. But when I was alone, I listened to all kinds of music and I continued to expand that vocabulary over the years. I still don't care much for Country, or easy listening or smooth jazz. But other than that, I'm good. Still, if its very good quality of any one of those areas I don't care for, I can appreciate it.

I also like a lot of the standard generally accepted music, just like anyone else. But stretching oneself is always a good thing. My kids are great for showing me where I'm falling down on that. Its both irritating at times and rewarding. Because its so easy for us to fall into complacency.

So ask yourself, in the area of music (and other things), just how far do YOU roll?

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