The Music transportation, that we all need.
Good morning/afternoon/evening/night, this is your regular Cornucopia email, freshly delivered to your inbox. Want more? Visit the goodness here https://nigelderbyshire.substack.com/archive - Share for non-redeemable bonus points!
This exciting (?) instalment brings you;
Topic - Music Transporation
Random Music video (from my own personal YouTube playlist) - how lucky are you?!
If you read my previous article about noise, you will have no doubt inferred my view of unnecessary noise; it helps no one. This article isn't about noise.
This article is also going to be slightly shorter than the others, which has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of time pressure on my part; nothing at all. Nothing. Not a thing cough.
Speaking of previous articles, and looking at what is the minimum number of words that actually qualify as an article, I found the following evidence;
So on that basis, this article needs to be <insert word-count here> words.
Now that we have got that not very useful point cleared up, lets talk about a more structure type of noise; Music.
To say that music has been around for a lone time, is to somewhat understate the point. Have a guess? Nope, you got that wrong... Music has been around since, at least, the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) period. Several flutes have been discovered, made of various types of bone, dated to be 43,000 years old.
These flutes were deliberately designed for the purpose with 4 or 5 holes, were hand held and used to create some form music.
So, it turns out that the need for music is baked into our DNA, somehow.
Throughout our youth, most of us are exposed to music of some sort. For some, that exposure creates a strong bond with either a particular band or style of music. Sure, you may pull away from it, but that unique experience is still there deep in your memory.
As I recall such events in my life, I can confirm that those deep memories exist for me. Whilst it is true to say that they are not in the forefront of my mind, they can be triggered on demand. How? Simply, by listening to the music of that moment. It isn't just a warm fuzzy feeling, that is evoked. No, it is much more than that. As well as those warm fuzzy feelings, I can remember the exact moment when I first heard that particular album. I can remember looking at the artwork of the album cover, pulling the vinyl (yes it was that long ago) out of the white sleeve, and gently placing it onto the turntable. Looking at those grooves on the black surface, full of hidden expression and the magic of music. That moment where you take the needle and nervously place it on the edge of the spinning record. The underlying fear of a fresh piece of vinyl; the desperate need not to scratch it before it had been given that first listen through.
For me, that experience was always in a setting of the corner of the living room, behind the sofa, wearing a set of less than ideal headphones with a cord that was way too short. It is a memory that I cherish.
Way back then, listening to music was a process, almost a small kind of ritual. Sure, you could shove a tape in and listen to the music through a hiss. But the ritual always made the music somehow sound better.
If we scroll forward to the current day, our relationship with music is quite different. You can walk into a random pub, hear something playing, pull out your phone, flick onto the Shazam app, sample a few moments, and boom; that song, whose title you don't even know, is in your own personal music library.
The process is so transparent, that it almost doesn't exist. It becomes a reflex action.
Listening to music is equally as transparent. You don't even have to touch your phone, or even know what you want; "Hey Siri, play something happy." All of a sudden you are listening to something vaguely happy.
I guess at this point, you are expecting me to start going on about the evils of mass music access and distribution... ?
You will be glad to hear, that particular sermon will not be delivered from me. No, I love the fact that I have access to such a large and diverse catalogue. I love the fact that I can wonder into a pub, and then moments later be on a glorious music journey into stuff that I would never had otherwise stumbled upon.
However, just think a moment. Think back to the first time you heard "Lizzie's Ballroom" by "45 Dip" taken from their album "The Acid Lounge" ... nope, I have no idea when I first listened to that either. It's in my music library, and I can only guess that I heard it once in a pub and that is how it arrived in my library. Don't get me wrong, it is a delightful piece of music creation, I listen to it often; I just don't have that additional emotional-location memory with it.
That is essentially my point. The super-easy accessibility of music, has come at the expense of a location-based ritual-based emotional-based music experience.
43,000 years ago, creating music was a non-trivial task. Today, we are in danger of loosing something. We are in danger of loosing the Music Transportation that was baked into yesteryear's experience.
It's not about choosing one over the other, but I feel we would all be a little richer if we took a long moment to, specifically, purposely, deliberately, listen to some specific music, from a specific artist, from a specific album. To try and create some Music Transportation memories, for our future self.
You sometimes have the best ideas, whilst having a pint with a friend & munching on Branston Pickle Mini Cheddars.
taken from my own personal YouTube playlist
Manowar - Battle Hymn & The Crown and the Ring (Lament of the Kings). This is a rather special treat for you all, and a great example of some Music Transportation, as described above. I know it is 21 minutes long, and is live…but it is worth it. So, the first thing to note about Manowar, is that they are massively over-the-top. They are a classic metal band, formed in 1980, and have sold over 20 million records. They held the record for the loudest band in the world between 1984 & 1994, recording a level of 129.5 dB. The first track is from their 1981 debut album, Battle Hymns (which included narration by Orsen Welles); the second from Kings of Metal (1988). What makes this performance particularly special, is that it contains all previous band members all playing at once. Yes, 3 drum kits, 4 lead guitarist, and a full orchestra and choir, just for good measure. The finale includes some spectacular fireworks too. To aide your listening pleasure, the first song starts to conclude around 8:45 continues to 14:00, with the last minute worth a watch. At 15:00 the choir kicks in, for a rousing rendition of The Crown and the Ring, with fireworks too. Be sure to watch the final conclusion.
Want to know more about me? Take a gander here.