Listening Log- [Pt.I Proj.1] ~ Exploring genres (various)
My father listened to Classical music when I was a child. I didn’t like much of it, apart from Beethoven and Ravel’s Bolero. I went through phases of playing ‘Bolero’ on repeat up to 20 times a day until I completely wore my dad’s vinyl out. Other classical music that I enjoyed mainly involved film music. I’ve had a life long obsession with Ennio Morricone which still rages on today. In my twenties I focused a lot of Erik Satie and the Impressionists. As an adult I find myself listening to more and more Classical music, from all the different eras.
I came across Contemporary classical music through one of Pierre Boulez records. I attended some of his lectures and got a real taste for it. Messiaen and Ligeti were always a personal favourites and so were Arvo Part, Steve Reich and John Taverner. I doubt that I would have been opened to anything atonal as a child, but I crave more and more experimental music as I get older and I particularly enjoy microtonal music these days.
I hated Country music with a passion as a kid. Absolutely couldn’t stand it apart from the one song; ‘Jolene’ by Dolly Parton. These days I have discovered plenty of country music that I like working my way backwards from Rock music, to Johnny Cash and then discovering people like Hank Williamson. The Country music I like tends to be quite old and I’m particularly fond of the genres preceding it such as Blue Grass and Appalachian music.
I was a tweenager in the 90’s and went to all the raves and house parties. I’ve danced in fields, I’ve danced in basements, I’ve danced in clubs… it’s part of my D.N.A.
I absolutely love Early Music. I have a deep interest in modal music and really enjoy the sound of Early Music instruments. I guess I started off by listening to Hildegard Von Bingen, but will pretty much listen to anything I can get my hands on.
Folk music has always formed a big part of my life. I grew up listening to both Swedish folk music and Serbian folk music (my parents were originally from Belgrade) and Eastern European Romani music. I have an extensive foundation in these traditions and it is still what tugs at my heart strings more than any other genre. I guess it form part of my earliest memories and my musical identity. I have become quite interested in English and Irish/Scottish/Welsh music since moving here. I find Gaelic singing particularly beautiful.
Jazz is another genre I couldn’t stand as a child but which I now greatly enjoy. I came to jazz through the blues, via artists like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone…nowadays I like a wide variety of Jazz. Anything from Coltrane, Theolonious Monk to Improv.
Musical Theatre is one of the genres I am least familiar with apart from the obvious by Gershwin, Bernstein and such. I do however listen to a lot of Chinese Opera and Japanese Kabuki and Noh.
As I child I went to the well known operas such as Carmen, Madame Butterfly, The Marriage of Figaro, etc. Lately I have been exploring early Opera and Monteverdi in particular. Finding it hugely inspiring.
Obviously I listened to a lot of pop growing up. These days I tend to focus on particular artists who I consider innovative rather than follow the genre overal.