Monday, March 09, 2009

The Muse

There was a comment on the 15 Albums post I ran on Saturday where someone said they couldn’t understand how any album could be life changing. I stick to the life changing declaration since each of those albums took me in a different direction. I won’t go into each title I mentioned, but let’s take for example Philip Glass, Einstein on the Beach, which introduced me to and took me down the path of minimalism. This collection enabled me to hear sounds differently. The repetitive notes become a rhythm and the rhythm becomes more like a slow vibration and eventually you can hear the music everywhere such as the drone of an engine, or in the sound emitted from a vacuum cleaner.

The word ”Music” has a relation to the word “Muse” which is an inspiration.

The life changing events that came about from listening to British music such as the Beatles, Eno and King Crimson is a language thing. The English have a masterful command of the language as we Americans resort to slang and other forms of linguistic laziness. The well phrased lyrics of the Brits actually expanded my understanding of what words should actually be used for. Do you think that an American could have ever possibly come up with the term, “If there’s a bustle in your hedge row…”? No, we come us with stuff like, “Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how…”

The imagery created by the lyrics of the English expanded a lot of American minds and carried them to literacy. I wouldn’t have been inspired to write had I not learned the power of uncommon words and phrases.

I’m sure that many people were introduced to the life style of surfing because of surf music as many people were moved to activism because of folk music. Many people were lured into the Hippy lifestyle because of the music of the 60s.

In conclusion, the music I grew up on is the direct inspiration of who I have become.


Blogger Beth said...

I agree with you as to the music of our past influencing who we have become – and I would add that the music we listen to today continues to shape and define us.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...


7:11 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I grew up listening to alot of silliness and whimsical stuff like Pete Seegers "Little Boxes" and "The one on the right" by Johnny Cash and The Kingston Trio's "They're rioting in africa". That kind of stuff tweaked my young sense of humor in ways you cannot imagine. It wasn't until years later that I really started listening to "serious" music but by then I was already ruined. I do love a poetic turn of a phrase, like Jethro Tull's "And the mouse police never sleeps":
Muscled black with steel green eyes
Swishing through the rye grass
With thoughts of mouse and apple pie
Tail balancing at half mast
And the mouse police never sleeps...
You just don't get much better than that, in my opinion.
Strong poetic imagery is grand.
But the silliness remains in the background yet.
Or had you noticed?

8:21 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

While I agree that the English are generally more eloquent in their use of the language, it's also hard to beat them for creative slang.

And darev, the Guy doesn't do poetry. He's made that abundantly clear. ;-)

10:47 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

How could music not influence us, shape us? It can speak you, spark memories, evoke emotion, make you think, help you locate kindred spirits...Everyone has a sound track to their life. It may change through out the years, but you always have one. Mine would be a bit eclectic, but I'm guessing most people's would be too.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us not over look the contribution of psychoactive substances reflected in music and the enlightenment that ensued. Seems like Frank Zappa spoke of music's roll in procreation of the species as part of a mating ritual. Sex and drugs and rock and roll maybe a multi edged sword but they will take you to the crossroads where you might hitch a ride or bend to pick a dogend.

2:15 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, but do you agree as adults we find fewer thing novel enough to really change our lives like they could be changed when we were of a more impressionable age?

Auntie, What? You in church?

Darev, you trying to piss me off with Poetry. No wonder the chickens are restless.

See Darev, Rich gets it.

Rich, I agree, but when they do return to their sanity they have the bones of a good language supporting them.

Zoe, wouldn't it be interesting if everyone had a Mix Tape of their lives played at their funeral?

Anon, Music and dance seems to have been a mating ritual since the beginning of time. Must have something to do with our lizard brains deep inside us. We croak and dance.

5:37 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

But what is good evocative musical lyrics but poetry set to a tune? You could take the worst poem in the world and set it to great music and have a hit. Conversely, you could set a great poem to bad music and someone somewhere would love it.

5:45 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, you need to listen to a William Shatner and a Leonard Nemoy album as penance for bringing up poetry here.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, I’ve certainly encountered some life-changing/altering/novel events but I see your point about music. However, music can still soothe my soul, change my mood and continues to offer me different perspectives on life.
Am I still at an impressionable age? I’m pondering that one.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Guy said...

Good question, Beth.

9:39 AM  

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