Sunday, May 29, 2016

Adventures in New Musical Territories

Friends have ours have recently set out on what looks like a trip of several months, overland through Europe to end up in Greece, where the lady of the couple has lots of relatives she has not seen in years.  We will miss them enormously, but an act of amazing kindness on their part means at least the spirit of them will remain with us until their return.

In preparing for their adventure our friends had something of a clear-out of unwanted possessions, which included hundreds of CDs.  We were informed that as the guy of the couple had uploaded his (ha!) 'favourite 30,000 songs' onto his iPod, he no longer had need of the physical discs.  A popular strategy in these days of increasingly digitized popular culture, I know, but in this instance it is a decision that has greatly benefitted Susan and I.  The last time we saw our friends, just before their departure, they handed us several bag-loads of unwanted discs, saying we could have whatever we wanted of them for ourselves, then should take the rest to the store, if indeed my boss has any need of them, for in-store credit when they return home.  They added that anything we wanted could not go a better home.

We still buy and love CDs, playing them every single day at home and in the car, and have no space issues (one room devoted to a music and DVD library), so were at once utterly delighted and thrilled by this sudden, unexpected, huge windfall of CDs.  When we got the haul home we feverishly went through the bags, sorting them into piles:

- Already have, so do not need
- Not our thing at all, so do not need
- Looks interesting, so let's give it a listen
- Do not have, and definitely or will likely want.

So, we have been ploughing through this vast amount of music, and have already added around fifty or so CDs to our already enormous library, with at least another three hundred to consider.  But what is particularly wonderful about this situation, the factor that prompted me to write about it here, is that we both find ourselves delving deep into areas of music evidently loved by our friends that we have either previously ignored (or not gotten around to exploring), never looked at in any depth, or some that are totally new to us.

There is a LOT of classical music, a LOT of artists that I had either never heard or heard of, and a LOT of music that perhaps I had deemed 'too uncool' to bother with so, in short, our ears are being opened to an array of wonderful new sounds.  In the instance of the classical music that has landed in our laps I am finding much joy; I have always enjoyed it, since I was a boy, but this fresh intake has me listening to much more of it than ever before, and getting very excited about it.  Even as I type I am loving a CD of Concerti for 2 Violins by Bach and Vivaldi, performed by Isaac Stern and Pinchas Zuckerman with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.  It is incredibly beautiful.

There is also a great deal of nostalgic music from the 20s, 30s and 40s, as well as a bunch of jazz that is, at the very least, intriguing.  Susan loves jazz but I have a hot and cold relationship with it, yet having heard Paul Desmond's incredible Take Ten from this batch for the first time, my ears are even surprisingly opening to more of the genre.

Music is not a job or hobby for me, but a lifestyle.  To have my already voracious appetite for it via the introduction of so much new stuff, or else a reminder of what I might be missing in certain areas I do not roam in often, is a source of great energy and inspiration.  And that it is FREE when we are kinda pushed for cash makes it sound all the better!

Thank you, dear friends,  as the gift of music will always be welcomed in the Morrison-Young household!