Of Music

Music is one thing I’ve found that I can always depend on, for everything except money. Music has always made perfect sense to me… it is really good energy, packed into a portable medium that can be played in my mind, or around me most of the time… my life always feels enhanced with a good soundtrack…

It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, and I love having music in my life… I am always able to ‘change my channel’ at any time; I listen to everything; I pick up on phrases in commercials or in shopping malls, what is stored or streamed from my computers, etc., but I can also turn it “off” and be silent for awhile.

As much or mostly; I listen for my own music… that I form in my mind and then try to record into my computers. I have all the arrangements, lyrics, etc., everything all playing out in my mind, but I find the increasing range of my technology has actually made it a more difficult process to get what is in my thoughts, over to become a printed recording that has something ‘intangible’ about it… for me.

kenwood amplifier

Kenwood TK-88, 1967

For most of my early childhood, the only music I ever heard came from my father’s 1950’s record player – that I was forbidden to touch for years… (which explains some things). We had one radio and 3 black & white television channels… this all was pre-Beatles, and Elvis didn’t exist as far as I knew… On most work days and certainly pancake Saturday mornings, Dad would come home from his office job, loosen his tie, and head straight for his Kenwood stereo. He would stack his jazz records back up on his Dual auto changer and he’d go dancing off to find Mom. That stack usually contained Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, and Stan Getz records. There were a few others, but jazz was pretty much it, and I loved it all; especially anything that featured the piano or drum solos.

I loved Christmas for the anticipation of presents, for the colorful lights and pine tree scent, but mostly for the whole new set of Christmas records that would come out for just those few short weeks… One year, my gift from Santa was a “Crystal Radio”; my father strung an antenna wire outside my bedroom window and I assembled a self powered radio that on a clear night would reach U.S. and Canadian radio stations… I would fall asleep every night listening to a far away world whose energy could magically find it’s way to the bare wire strung across the side of our house, and endlessly stream it’s way out of a cheap mono ear plug nestled in my pillow. Every music player except my father’s Kenwood was mono (single speaker) at that time – which didn’t matter – I could hear every note of every instrument “crystal” clear…

From Stanton record needles to my current iPhone, I am still in awe at the sonic range in my present day sound equipment, and the limitless multitrack recording software I can record with today. The current quality of my audio and video systems has literally surpassed my physical ability to experience it… which is hard to accept, but coming from a mono ear speaker to my current 24bit/96kHz, 7.1, dual sub-woofer / 4K Video environment… when I focus and listen to it, I feel I have been given another gift; that of “joy personified”. The irony is that there is relatively little available content that is originally recorded or mastered in such a high quality format – the original recordings were mostly all mastered in basic “stereo”.

Regardless; a connecting story, spun into song can be the most powerfully “good thing” in the world, to me. The song, crafted as a recording into something that then resonates even more powerfully when shared between large groups of people – be they of any human race, religion, color, or what ever your chosen (or as often; not chosen) barrier that segregates our collective ability to easily communicate and share the overall experience of just being alive <sigh>… where instead, music connects; most can just feel music… music transcends with the greatest clarity, and is completely vital to my life.