Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Flavours add new zest to life

I’d like to tell you a story about a musical friend…who’s been to literally scores of music festivals over many many years and in all that time, and all of those festivals, she has avoided the traditional Sunday morning Gospel service like the plague.  As if she might catch something contagious simply by association. Quite funny really. 

Even more so was the look on her face the day at one festival when she arrived for the next concert in the program and caught the last 10 minutes of gospel because that concert was running overtime.  “I never knew it was like THIS …all those beautiful harmonies…I can’t believe it!” And of course the traditional Sunday gospel service is ALL about the music – there’s no ‘service’ really, it’s always old-timey gospel songs which are harmony based. She didn’t realise what she was missing all those years because her mind was simply closed due to her pre-conceived notions.

Now this story got me to thinking about how resistant some people are to any music beyond what they've always listened to.  Very common as people get older – but also somewhat common in young people with limited experience and exposure.  And why is this so?  Why are some people so resistant to anything new, different? 
  •    Is it because ‘we’ve acquired so much knowledge that we can’t fit any more in’ ? 
  •  tastes so set in cement that ‘we can’t try any new flavours’? 
  •   views and beliefs so dogmatic that ‘we can’t open our minds to new thoughts and ideas’? 
  •   convinced that ‘our way is the only way and nothing else counts’?
…or is it simply ‘fear of change’ that keeps some people locked in a prison of familiarity?

Challenging our attitudes, beliefs, tastes on an ongoing basis is what stops the rust from setting in.  Just like our wardrobes get clogged with junk if we don’t have a periodic clean out, so too does our thinking need a shake up now and then. 
Since I started writing music, I’ve tended to blur boundaries and challenge the pigeonholes of genre.  Young artists today are doing exactly that as a matter of course. So if you’re only listening to the music that fits into the tired old boxes, you’re missing out on a whole lot of wonderful new flavours, new tastes, and a whole lot of new views, thinking, ideas.
Think about it ....explore some of the contemporary music that's being created today.....explore a music genre that you've previously dismissed...who knows, it might give you a whole new perspective on life itself.  Music tends to do that!