Thursday, October 10, 2013

We Need Music!!!

Music is as necessary to human life as helium is to make a ballon float. We need music to stimulate us physically and psychologically. Especially music that is new to us.

I care a lot about music. Which is weird since I don't play any instruments. I like all different types of music: pop, hip-hop, country, dance, electronic, R&B, indie, alternative, dubstep, rock. I will pretty much listen to anything. Except screamo, because it scares me a little bit. 

In Why We Need Music, Andrew Ford says that although music is abstract, it defines our humanity. "Music is society's soul," he writes, "In one or more of its various forms, music is present in most of our lives and, at some level, essential to our cultures." Making and performing our own music is how we engage with our musical traditions and how we preserve, critique, and nurture them.

Ford discusses three steps to understanding music:

1. Find music that you like. This will lead you to other music you like.
2. Find music that you don’t like or understand. Then learn about it until you understand it.
3. Play, sing, improvise, and compose music.

A few years ago I found music that I didn't understand: EDM, or electronic dance music. People in my town went from listening to what was on the iTunes top ten to this fast-paced dance music I had never heard before. The music had barely any lyrics, and I had issues with this. I wanted music I could sing along with--not music that was a repetition of beats, climbing until a singer would say an ambiguous line, and then the base would drop. Dubstep music has a similar format, so I didn't quite understand that genre either. I thought, why would people pay money to watch a guy push play on a laptop, turn some knobs, and then jump up and down. (Like this.)

But as I kept listening to more EDM and dubstep, I started to like it and appreciate what the artists were doing. Skrillex makes songs on his laptop on the road using computer software and I think that is the coolest thing. That means that maybe I, with no musical talent, can be a musician. 

My favorite female DJs, Nervo.
This summer I went to Life In Color, which is large concert where DJs perform while vibrant colored paints are splattered at the audience. "What initially began as a college tradition has transformed into a world-renowned live concert, featuring spectacular DJs, soaring aerial acts, stilt-walkers, contortion acts, fire shows, and cannons to deliver the famous “Paint Blast,” along with many other unforgettable live performances" ( I was a little hesitant to go at first; Life In Color and similar "rave" concerts get a bad reputation because a lot of people that attend them go drunk, on drugs, or both. But I wanted to see what it was like, so I went anyways. 

It was so much fun. The energy was insane. People were dancing and cheering for hours. It made me want to become a DJ like Nervo. I got a little taste of what it's like to DJ when I DJ'd a party last weekend. Everyone was on their feet, dancing and singing. It felt awesome to know that I had done that for them. I hope I get the opportunity to DJ again soon because I had an indescribable amount of fun. 

Afrojack, David Guetta, and Nicky Romero at Tomorrowland.
Things get a little messy at Life In Color. 
Ok, very messy. 

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