14 September 2011

More on Music

For as long as I can remember, I've loved listening to music. As a child, instead of napping, I would turn on my parents clock radio to the lowest setting and listen to Captain & Tennille, the Bee Gees and anyone else that aired on the Tucson AM radio station, KTKT. I was about five years old when my Dad gave me an old record player along with a couple of Buddah Records LPs, the maroon label with the fat guy on it. When the songs Leader of the Pack or [Sittin' on] the Dock of the Bay played, I would turn up the volume full blast, but then had to cover my ears because it was so loud. My Dad would walk in and turn down the volume, all the while wagging his head at me. I was lucky he didn't take back his gift!

It was in junior high when I discovered that I didn't have to listen to the country and western music that my parents played. (I like some C&W music, just not all the time.) Most of my friends listened to the popular radio station, KRQQ FM, who played, and still play, the same songs over and over. So, just to be contrary, I chose to listen to the only rock station in Tucson at the time, KLPX. That's how I discovered Van Halen and Alice Cooper. This just proved to be my gateway station to other rock ... Motley Crue, Queensryche, Scorpions, Metallica and even some Pantera.

For much of high school, I thought I would become a professional trumpet player, join a symphony somewhere as principal trumpet. Then I thought about the lifestyle I wanted, and well, being a trumpet player wasn't going to pay those type of bills. So, instead, I chose to study Materials Science and Engineering, where the salaries and benefits were more aligned with how I wanted to live.

But I never gave up on enjoying music, be it as a listening experience, sometimes at ear-splitting volumes - but only when the kids aren't around, practicing my trumpet from time to time, or playing the piano. And as I mentioned before, I listen to music while I write to get into the mood of my stories. Sometimes I already own the music that will help, but like for my first story, mostly set in 1600's Scotland, I didn't have anything. Not even the "Last of the Mohicans" soundtrack.

I thank my lucky stars for the internet where I discovered the folk/rock band the Peatbog Faeries  and Martyn Bennett, traditional Scottish music set to a dance beat. (Did you know there is a bagpipe rock band called the Red Hot Chili Pipers?  I bet you can guess the type of music they play.)

So, by pursuing writingt, I've found another way to feed my love of music. (Which makes the internet services Pandora and Spotify perfect for me. Pandora for the ability to discover new music, and Spotify for the ability to listen to the new music over and over at will. At high volume, if necessary. And Amazon and iTunes make it entirely too easy to grow our music library.

All that as intro to my Scottish story playlist. Maybe you'll discover something interesting in the list.

What are your favorite music discoveries? That feed your Muse?

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