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Music Is a Language - But...

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  • Music Is a Language - But...

    I broke this off from the "digital evil, analog bodacious" thread because I think it deserves its own commentary.

    I had mentioned that I was going to post a new song that some people would probably like and some people probably wouldn't. So, if I know in advance that people aren't going to like it, why would I post it?

    Which got me thinking about why we record music. I always just say "it's a biological imperative for me" but I really think there are only two main reasons to record music.

    1. The Rorschach test. Something comes out of me and ends up in a form where I can listen to it. It's very much like looking into myself and I often learn things. Like the song I mentioned, "On Mars," is not about my experiences on Mars   But I realized that I feel very isolated sometimes, particularly now, and that's how those feelings manifested themselves...and it gave me insights into my subconscious I might not have accessed otherwise.

    2. Communication with others. We have an experience and we want to share it, the same way we'd talk about experiences in a conversation. Musician interact with an audience and music just takes it to another level.

    Music is called the universal language for a reason...and it is a language. Music doesn't need lyrics to convey meaning, just ask Bach or John Coltrane.

    (Of course the third reason is to attract members of hte opposite sex, or same sex if you swing that way, but that's a whole other topic and not really the point of this thread.)

    There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

  • #2

    The third reason is still a form of communication.  It's just a more exciting one.

    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven


    • #3

      I'd add another reason that, at least to me, seems a very important one.  And that's the satisfaction of making something, of exercising a skill, honing a craft.  Cause I can express my emotions or personality anytime - it takes no particular skill to do so.  But it's particularly and peculiarly satisfying and seemingly meaningful to translate emotions into an objective, highly wrought, artistic thing - a song or painting or poem or novel or whatever artform.


      Using art as a form of self-expression seems to also make it less simply a "self-only" expression.  It makes the thing expressed, your own experiences, to seem part of a larger, ongoing human drama that is in a sense validated because it can be artistically expressed.  Lots of artists work alone and cultivate solitude - I know in my case I return from this type of solitude feeling more connected, more at home in the world, if my efforts seem to be resulting in a valid artistic creation.  I'm covering the positive things here - how I feel when my artistic efforts fail....that's the price I pay for the other good times.


      nat whilk ii



      • Anderton
        Anderton commented
        Editing a comment

        Well said.

      • philbo
        philbo commented
        Editing a comment
        Very lucid thought is apparent in your post, Nat. That sort of clarity comes only with sincere introspection. Well done.

    • #4

      When I first picked up a guitar it was because of a broken heart.  I could not speak what I felt, so I had to find another way to say it and also found some comfort and resolution in the chord progressions.  I fumbled around until the changes felt, "Right."  I already played piano for many years before that, but it was raw emotion that picked up the guitar for the first time to make it talk.

      I think of it as more a spiritual imperative than biological, but however we define it I think we can communicate through music when other languages fail us.  We can learn each others musical dialects through silent collaboration and then have a conversation.  The best bands or writer/artist teams are doing just that.

      "Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground."
      ~John Lennon


      • UstadKhanAli
        UstadKhanAli commented
        Editing a comment

        Sorta piggybacking on Beck's comment about music as spirituality, one of the things I absolutely love about music is that feeling when you are completely in sync with the musicians and other people in the room, when everything is flowing, and everyone can clearly sense that.  There's this feeling where it almost feels like people's instruments are being played for them, and everyone is collectively channeling something great and wonderful.  

        I've felt a similar feeling doing other things also, such as playing basketball with a team or surfing, where I felt a deep connection to people and/or maybe to something greater, feeling completely in sync.

    • #5

      Nothing brings me pleasure like working on a tune that is starting to take shape. There are countless hours spent working on tunes and then you press record.... sometimes magic happens, most of the time it doesn`t. I`m always chasing after those brief moments. Recording is about the chase... Its a very selfish act for me because its all about how the music makes me feel. No one else. Its therapy. 


      • MDLMUSIC
        MDLMUSIC commented
        Editing a comment
        I've always loved making music just for the feeling of pleasure and contentment it gives me. I took trombone lessons as a kid and loved the sound of the horn. As I entered my teens, I decided to switch to the guitar, since I noticed that members of the opposite sex were, for some reason, not as interested in the trombone as they were in the guitar. I figured if I'm going to be making music anyway, I might as well try to get some perqs at the same time.