Music Soothes my Soul

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Natalie Tena of Molotov Jukebox

…….. and helps keep me sane.

This has even more been the case since my gallbladder recently tried to kill me and I spent several days in a hospital ward with absolutely nothing to do.

I loved recorded music for many years and while studying my HND I started to go to live events. This was how I discovered live and recorded music affected me in a way nothing else does. I felt like Jack-Jack in Pixar’s “The Incredibles” when Kari, his babysitter, puts him in his highchair. She puts on a Mozart CD and says ‘It’s time for a little neurological stimulation’. When she presses play, Jack-Jack stops being distracted, sits up, suddenly becomes focused and it releases his inner powers. This is how music makes me feel. On a normal day, I usually listen to at least one album on my own in the car, this helps me dispel the stresses of the day and calms the deeper turmoil of being the head of my family. Before her life changing accident and subsequent cancer treatment my wife and I jointly shouldered the chores and usual trials and tribulations of life. The disability she has been left with restricts her ability to do a number of things. I’ve taken on those things too.

During college, and the years after, I went to many music performances and enjoyed getting wrapped up in the atmosphere of the performance and of being in a crowd of like-minded people. My wife gets the same feelings from music but also going to see her football team play. As with live music, watching on TV is enjoyable, but being there is infinitely more.

My somewhat eclectic tastes in music – influenced by my brothers’ liking for electronica and the indie band music of the nineties – were powered in my 20s by being able to go to nearly 100 events and having access to multiple independent music stores, as well as the wonderful HMV (our local branch still survives and I bought some more CDs only the other day). Since the demise of many independent music shops I’ve found new music via a number of sources. Steve Lamacq and Lauren Lavern’s Radio Six Music shows (DAB only);music festivals; working with Caffè Nero Live, Talentbanq, Success Express Music and Laurel Canyon Music. Even through social media with the many artists I’ve connected with and through my photography.

As an early adopter of CDs, because I found I could listen to them at home, in the car and on the move, I’ve been collecting CD since I left college and now have access to over 15,000 songs via my iPhone, thanks to iTunes Match. Even today I get CDs, having discovered, through the death of a friend, that a digital only library dies with you rather than being passed on to your heirs.

Out of all of those albums there are a few that are so well produced and written, that paired with my Jaybird wireless ear buds, I am transported into a deep rich soundscape, enveloping my senses and soothing my mind whilst stimulating my inner self. I can’t express why the following give me this feeling – they simply do.

 

Love Over Gold                                                        Famous Blue Raincoat

The Hunter                                                                      Sunday 91

Deleted Scenes…                                                          Revolute

Soft Control                                                                    Tragic Kingdom

Travelling Heart                                                             Elastica

On                                                                                       Carnival Flower

Southside                                                                          Gorillaz

Vienna                                                                                  So

How Men Are                                                                       Addict

 

 

 

 

 

Version 2.0

Not the complete list. However, I think it demonstrates a diverse mix of artists, genres and decades. What I like about the above is not their similarities but how diverse the styles are. However, the common elements are the commitment by the artists, engineers, technicians and producers to produce a dynamic and engaging performance.

An interesting thing to note for Jennifer Warner’s beautiful album: The Hunter, is I find the cover of the Waterboys classic song ‘The Whole of the Moon’, although an acceptable cover, sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the amazing production and feel of the rest album. My understanding is this was done to be the launch single.

Supermarkets selling CDs led to the death of independents by offering very popular CDs at lower prices stealing sales from independents. But they aren’t interested in low volume established acts or new unproven acts. However, if you get involved in the resurgence of the live music scene, you can experience emerging acts with all their passion and drive, in an intimate atmosphere. I’ve been to many smaller venues in recent years, and these are the melting pots for future major acts, I’ve seen new bands at several of the venues the global phenomena such as Ed Sheeran and KT Tunstall started playing at to only a handful of people.

Michael Butterworth