Today I want to write about melodies, rhythms, purposeful sounds made by humans through instruments and voices. In other words, let’s talk about music baby!
The whole morning I have been enjoying myself with my notebook, drawing a mindmap of musical styles and artists. And I’m still not done, because there is so much and it barely fits on the page! Many of these artists I already know and listen to, but some I have discovered today, through this amazing website I want to share with you: everynoise.com
This place is basically a big map of music genres, from the most well-known and popular styles to all these obscure ones you might never have heard of before. Just a little warning: you might get a lost in this forest of melodies… Just click on a random genre, like ‘Brazilian Hip Hop’ and you will hear a sample of a song, in this case the mellow DJ Caique – A Viagem…. And what about a music genre called ‘Warm Drone’ (great name), which will introduce you to a song called Moments Descend On My Windowpane (isn’t that pure poetry?) by Rafael Anton Irisarri, who – as Wikipedia tells me – is a composer based in Seattle, Washington, who has been “exploring textural aesthetics for over half a decade”…
Wonderfully strange. I’m now sitting here trying to imagine what ‘textural aesthetics’ would look like if you could touch them. Kind of fluffy I think.
At the same time, while I am exploring this strange map of of music, I have a big stack of good old CD’s next to my computer, which I am uploading into my music library. Every once in a while, I hear a ‘beep’, which is a sign I can change the CD for a new one. These are all kinds of random CD’s that I found in my parents’ house. The Doors, Pink Floyd, Erykah Badu… Some great childhood memories are to be found in these square plastic boxes.
I remember the first song of the Doors album, ‘Riders on the Storm’, which starts with an actual storm. Like, the sound of rain and thunder for the first 20 seconds. As a little kid I would listen to this on full speaker and be a little scared of these stormy sounds, looking outside to see if it’s actually raining. Listen to this while you read the next bit: The Doors – Riders on The Storm
While you are just getting used to the sounds of the storm, suddenly a cool bossy bass guitar comes in, playing its funky tune, together with a sleek drum… Oh, and there is that clear keyboard melody which sounds like a happy cool waterfall of sound, a stream of water trickling down on a big tropical jungle plant with huge leaves. Yeahhhh! Now we’ll just have to wait a few moments before that sulky low voice of Jim Morisson starts singing…
Okay, I’m officially hypnotized now… Where were we?
Oh yes, so the reason I’m doing all this music stuff (or at least it’s a good reason to get started) is that I bought a second hand iPod nano. It’s really cute, light, tiny and grey. This little baby I found on Markplaats, the Dutch walhalla for online second hand shopping. As I’m the kind of person who likes to Google for the meaning of words, I absolutely have to share now that ‘Walhalla’ is a place from Nordic mythology, meaning literally “the hall of the slain”. Heaven, as we might call it… So anyways, on Marktplaats you will find all kinds of stuff you don’t need at all, or maybe – actually – you do need it. RIGHT NOW! (That’s how I bought this iPod, I admit). I just suddenly remembered that I would like to have something to play music on wherever I go, on the road, in the metro, without being distracted by phone stuff (because I’m a person who gets distracted easily).
Just music, nothing else. Just to be hypnotized by a forest of melodies…
So I thought: Let’s get started with transferring some of these cool Compact Disks to my little grey music box and then I will move on to the more digital stuff that can be found online, or – in my case – in my brother’s musical collection, as I am really bad at all things digital (why do you think it took me so long to create this blog?). And since he just has a great taste in music, I was sure he could help me with filling my iPod to the rim with some funky tunes. He’s also a DJ, my little brother, did you know that? Check this boy out: DJ Lupus I’m telling you, this guy will be famous one day. If it’s not as a DJ, then probably as a film director. And I’m not just saying that as his big sister who is just really freakin’ proud… I think I will write about movies in my next blog, because it’s also a great medium that I really love – I mean, who doesn’t? And what’s more important to a film- besides the visuals of course – than a great music score? Let’s talk about that next time.
There is so much more I could write about music, but I don’t want to keep you here too long. Music is there to experience, to close your eyes to and just start dancing!
*dances in her chair*
So lastly, I just want to introduce you to my friend Kourosh Yaghmaei (I didn’t copy that name, I actually just typed it out. It’s a beautiful name!). He’s not my actual friend, in the sense that he doesn’t know about me. But he feels like a friend because he just touched my soul with his beautiful music and the story of his life. It all started when I heard a strange song in the student café close to my uni in Amsterdam. I was just sipping some tea and eating my sandwhich when I heard his soulful voice and very strange beautiful instruments I never heard before. “What language is that?” I thought. “I have to know the name of this artist!” So I quickly downloaded Shazam on my phone and manage to record the song before it ended. And there it was: Kourosh Yaghmaei – Paeiz (Autumn)
And then, with the help of Wikipedia and the rest of the Internet, I found out that Kourosh Yaghmaei (okay, this time I copied the name) is “an Iranian rock musician who started his career in the 1970s. He was the first person who played rock music in Iran and therefore is frequently labelled the father of Persian rock”. By the way, in Persian his name is written like this: کورش یغمایی. Beautiful right? I’m trying to learn Arabic script and Persian is very similar (I would like to write more about that in another blog: languages!)
Now if you want to learn more about the father of Persian rock, how he struggled with the oppressive government that was installed after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, how he recorded his music “in an ordinary room in my apartment with no acoustic system, without sound engineering, without professional microphones, amplifiers, and other necessary equipment for recording”, how it would take him two years to record an album, and another twelve to release it (because the authorities would not give him a permit), read this article by Vice: From National Star to Enemy of the State: Iranian Rock Pioneer Kourosh Yaghmaei Fights On
After this last story, I feel that I’m done with writing for a while. It’s was a great journey, but now it’s time for something else:
I’m going to play some music and dance around the room!
Oh, and I would love to hear if you have more recommendations for great music. You can write a comment below (you’ll make me so happy!) Let’s keep on growing this beautiful wide lush forest of melodies.., Mmmm!