Roots

There are many days when, as a musician, I don’t act like it. I listen to sports talk radio, or political commentary. The music on the radio is more for nostalgia than anything else. I’m 32, I’m not listening to the “new stuff” anymore. Some might say, “Well as someone who writes music, don’t you want to know what’s going on out there?” First of all, if it’s popular AND true quality, it’ll most likely make it to my ears somehow, and second, most of the great stuff is NOT played on the radio so I’m not missing anything.

So that brings me to a place where as a guy without a whole lot of time to go searching for new and amazing music, I sometimes wonder if I’m just one foot in the door as a musician, THEN I’ll stumble upon some stuff on my iPod that I haven’t listened to in months.

It’s that album where every note on nearly every song moves you. Suddenly you’re soaked in the moment of the music. It’s not about a memory that it sparks, but it’s about the masterful ebb and flow of the music itself. It’s the organic nature of the bass line as it sweeps through, gently bending and twisting to bring each note out into it’s own individual color, while at the same time unifying the instruments…it’s like a breeze on a field of flowers, each petal is touched but as you look at it, it’s all so connected, you can’t decide which part to run through first.

Then there’s the strings as they powerfully swirl and soar. Always dipping, reaching, switching between the rhythmic pant of a sprinting horse, to the delicate, careless, descent of a discarded feather.
Of course, there’s the piano line. An expert ear hears the exact execution in the line, but the soul of the listening participant is seduced into the hauntingly simplistic rhythm just before being whisked away into a dimension that precariously exists between written genius and improvisational magic.

These moments remind me that I don’t have just one foot in the door of being a musician. Music is the root of how I have perceived everything I’ve ever experienced. Life is a series of dissonant chords with the resolve soon to come. I’ve always had pitch retention, that means I can keep a certain key going in my head for a long time after the music has stopped. Perhaps that’s why I am so optimistic about life; even in the dissonance I hear the original key, and am confident that the resolve chord is just around the corner. What are your roots? What keeps you grounded?

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