Today Cai and I were staying at home; he is feeling a little under the weather. He asked, “Dad, can I put the Beatles on?” Now I enjoy the Beatles a great deal and I am extremely glad that he is excited by melody. I am not quite so overjoyed by the fervor with which he loves a single band and my response was, “while I like them now I do not know if I will like them in a few weeks if we keep on playing Revolver day in and out.”
He smiled and then I do not know exactly what he did, I do not know if he does either, because for the rest of the day we were treated with a random selection from my i-pod. Over the day I heard tunes that I have not listened to for years. It was an eclectic mix and we only skipped three tracks, all of which were talks and meditations. One moment we were treated to a pounding dance track, the next to a child’s show tune, there was classical and reggae, world, rock, pop and everything in between. I know it is my i-pod, yet I was surprised by how much I enjoyed listening to the music on it.
My 30 GB of i=pod has 1000’s of tunes on it, why do I listen to a couple of dozen albums consistently when there is all this great stuff right there? I tell myself I am in a such and such mood, I do not listen to other things because I compromise with other people’s tastes, I have forgotten about others and I feel I have out grown a substantial amount of it. And you know what I am always craving burning more, newer tunes. The most frightening thing is that it is mainly filled with a soundtrack from a “certain age”.
Where am I going with this? Well I got to thinking that I am very much like my i-pod. I have so many experiences, skills, qualities and characteristics and yet I only really demonstrate a few of them. There are a number of reasons for this which seem pretty similar to my listening habits. Here is the thing, I really enjoyed my random play today, it was invigorating, surprising and extremely satisfying. I saw the breadth of my musical taste and I was proud. I was particularly happy to share it with Cai as it created many new conversations and opened up a lot of new possibilities. There is no right or wrong to what music I listen to, however it is far more fun to play when I celebrate my history, my extended influences and look beyond the immediately comfortable.
What’s on your playlist and is it worth revisiting?
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- The Music Instinct by Philip Ball: review (telegraph.co.uk)