On being a musical dilettante
‘We are lovers, yet I’ve always had the feeling he thinks me a musical dilettante and that he likes it that way.’
When I was growing up music did not play that great a role in our house. My parents favoured Cohen, the Stones, the Carpenters and classical as background noise. We stopped watching Top of the Pops when my father requested I refrain from singing along! So, on my Ipod I have the Big Chill film soundtrack, the music from Weeds, The Who and The Clash, aerobics 4by4 dance tracks and one ton of relaxation music.
In the mid 80’s, when I first started going out in a small seaside town on the pebbly coast of England I was around fifteen years old. At my friend’s house, who had very liberal parents, we would don our Punk outfits and head off to Brighton or the Brixton Academy, to see the likes of the Virgin Prunes. I was not really into the music but I was very attracted to the ‘scene’, of being different and ‘out there’.
This was followed by a few years of Reggae. I was at Sixth Form and had just discovered the pleasures of Mother Natures Herbal Medicine. The music fitted perfectly and I loved the idea of Rastafarianism as it appealed to my veggi sensibilities. Oh, and then of course there were the Rastas themselves! I was even taught to cook by a five man Reggae band.
Then came the underground Rave Scene during the late 80’s to early 90’s and what a ride that was. From hearing Soul to Soul playing on the radio, to listening to A Guy Called Gerald in a South London railway arch. In those days we did everything ourselves. We sourced the location, painted the backdrops, hired the lights and sound stuff and had our DJ friends play for our posse. It was brilliant, magical, lovely and definitely not just because of the music! It could not last forever. Thatcher’s Criminal Justice Act prevented anyone playing a repetitive beat with more than four persons gathering from 1994 onwards.
Having changed musical genres for a few decades, I remained with ‘house music’ upon moving to Berlin in my 30’s. However it was never about the music itself for me, the Dilettante. I was there for the vibe, the atmosphere, the people and just ‘being there’. Berlin was amazing, we were in the East and the nightlife was fantastic. Yes, sure there were drugs flying around but some people did not even drink. This was a different attitude to the purely hedonistic angle I’d been used to. It was so very interesting to go out all night completely straight and still not come home until the sun had risen over the Fernsehturm. All of this to the boom boom boom of Techno music.
These days I prefer to listen to audiobooks and use music for exercising and meditating. The years have taken their toll, I am deaf in my left ear from too many nights on loudspeakers (I shadow danced for Kruder and Dorfmeister)! This means I can no longer tolerate loud ambient noise, so no more all nighters por moi.
On that note here is the worlds most relaxing piece of music. Sound therapists were able to rate ten of the most relaxing songs, with Marconi Union’s 8 minute trance-inducing tune, “Weightless”, coming out on top thanks to its continuous rhythm of 60 BPM, an ideal tempo for synchronization with the heart and brainwaves,
My Synth Lover first became turned on by electronic music when hearing Kraftwerk. As a schoolboy he saved up and saved up to get a ROWLAND SH09 in 1981 and he has not looked back since. He was able to turn his passion into a career in his mid twenties (full time only after royalties started to come in from library music – not to be sniffed at, as it allows for financial freedom and makes for excellent practise at learning the craft). Thanks to years of study (at home twiddling knobs), trial and error, constant updating, learning, taking constructive feedback, tons of hard work, budgeting, good money management and believing in himself. Having started in Drum and Bass he is now much more of an Eno (Brian) man in his musical tastes.
Here is someone else inspired by music. This is moving and touching, especially as he died shortly after giving the speech……….
For this months recipe I give you the easiest soup in the world!
Take one medium zucchini,
Chop into smallish pieces,
Bake in a hot oven drizzled with oil, sea salt and pepper.
Make one cup of hot water with a stock cube.
Place zucchini and stock in a blender, blend. DRINK!
Wanna make it ‘cream of’, drizzle a bit of non dairy cream on top.
Bet it tastes yummy, if you like zucchini that is!
We are loving our new improved healthy lifestyle and are feeling brilliant. The ‘regime’ or holistic approach, if you will, incorporates exercise (trampoline, walking), relaxation (meditation, chi machine), positive outlook (affirmations, creative visualisation) and, of course, the ‘green’ eating regime (Nutribullit juices, 70% raw).
Oh and of course doing something you are passionate about for a living and surrounding yourself with loving friends, family and positive peers. I also recommend some form of altruism. Just Perfect!