[Pt.I Proj.1] ~ Exercise 2 – Exploring genres
Think about your own musical tastes. In your listening log, make notes on each of the genres below that you’ve heard, and your emotional responses to each of them. For example, why do you like or dislike a particular genre? Which genres did you listen to as a child? Have your tastes changed through your lifetime? Who influences what sort of music you enjoy listening to?
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 overall.