Dear Musician - Music's All Around Us
By Dendy Jarrett |
Dear Musician – Music’s All Around Us
And you’d be surprised how people are making it …
by Dendy Jarrett
Many musicians have music in their heads all the time. If you’re a drummer, you may experience cadencitus — hearing a cadence in your head when you walk. That cadence plays in your head at the same tempo as the pace of your walking. It can be akin to getting a song that just won’t go away stuck in your head.
For many others, something that you experience may spur musical inspiration. I remember seeing an interview with Barry Gibb in which he recounted how the rhythm of the song Jive Talkin’ was inspired by the chunka-chunka-chunka sound of a car rolling over a bridge spanning the Biscayne Bay near Miami.
And then there are those who seem to find music in everything they hear or see. I was recently turned on to Porcapizza. This guy takes ‘stuff’ that he finds and makes makeshift instruments out of it, and he’s growing a tremendous following. He plays Jimi Hendrix’s smash hit “Foxy Lady" with a tennis racquet guitar, an old typewriter with Pringles cans attached, and some tuned knives, while he sings into an old land-line telephone. The tennis racquet has a construction hard hat as a resonator, and kitchen butter knives are fashioned into a low-metallic resonant mbira or kalimba that runs the bass line.
Now I know this conjures up notions that music made with trash probably sounds like trash, but I’m here to tell you … give it 1 minute.
There are lots of historic examples of this “trash to [musical] treasure” movement. The musical group STOMP and Blue Man Group have made careers out of this re-purposing and recycling of goods into instruments.
There are You Tube viral videos of people in remote countries making instruments out of whatever washtub or turtle shell they can find, thus in many cases proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
What’s most inspiring to me is that in these examples that I mentioned, musicians don’t wait until they have all the right gear and all the stars are aligned to make music. Whether necessity is the mother of invention, or someone just thought it was simply a "cool idea," they are great examples of how music is all around us.
So whether you are being inspired to write the next song from the rhythm of the road, or if the tone of an item you have lying around sparks your creative juices and inspires you to turn that item into an instrument, we encourage you to go for it!
From a tennis racquet guitar to a butter knife bass line, make better music — music's all around us!
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.