Thursday, September 6, 2007
I’ve always enjoyed sorting out my music on the computer. I don’t even need an excuse to get started. Every track on my computer has some sentiment attached. Every album sends me to unique imaginary realms. There are some tracks that are preserved only for the nostalgic value it provides, even though over the years my musical tastes have changed as drastically as I have as a person. Which is why this vocation (sorting out music and compiling play lists) turns out to be as refreshing as a vacation.
Last month I decided to organize my Hard disk and, it was an impulsive decision. July was particularly characterized by some anxiety and loneliness. My books and my music were my only bedfellows. Once while discussing my music collection with precocious perf(a friend whose name is not to be revealed), I began this odyssey which lasted nearly a month. As various songs played, they formed a soundtrack to the memories they invoked. It was a photo album for my ears; certain songs are inextricably attached to events in my past and when I listen to them, memories return.
My Columbine Voyage to the Newer world of music began with ABBA and Boney M. My sis plainly dismissed these as silly nursery rhymes when I played some of these numbers. She wouldn’t have guessed. I used to hum these tunes even before she was born. “Ring Ring ”, “Super trooper”, “ Another Town Another Train”, “Hasta manana” “Belfast”, “ Rasputin”….
Never understood the lyrics then, but loved the tunes. I subconsciously attached these tunes to all those days spent in Matunga, Bombay. And I’d sing those as any four-year old would.
“ I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore
If I tell a joke, you’ve probably heard it before
But I have a talent, a wonderful thing
coz everyone listens when I start to sing
I’m so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud”
Circa 1989.Those were the days of the tape recorder. Most Indians in their post-colonial hangover would say “You don’t have to pay at Spenser’s to meet your needs”. As Indians, we’d always found cheaper and more convenient ways to indulge in luxuries. Now, we didn’t need to buy album tapes for just a couple of good songs. We could always record our favourite numbers on blank audio tapes, and pretty good quality tapes ( the red cover Sony tapes) at that. So the music I listened to were not labeled. I had all these songs memorized on School bus trips between Chembur and Ghatkopar in Bombay (if you wondering how, my school bus was one of the very few that had a audio system). Only many years later would I make a serendipitous discovery of the name of the artist. When I listen to these tracks I’m often amused at the fact that as a six year old, the subjects that these numbers addressed were obviously beyond my comprehension, and yet we’d have a careless bus driver playing these in a school bus. “Papa don’t preach” and “la isa bonita” by Madonna, “I just called” and “part time lover” by Stevie Wonder, “Notorious” by Duran Duran, and a few by Foreigner, Boston, Tina Turner, USA for Africa, Berlin to name a few. Music and I were inseparable, and it was beyond my imagination that there is a whole world of music awaiting me. It was heavenly!
“Such a feelings coming over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I wont be surprised if its a dream
Everything I want the world to be
Is now coming true especially for me
And the reason is clear
Its because you are here
You’re the nearest thing to heaven that I’ve seen”
The '90s were mostly disappointing. Some excellent music completely overshadowed by syrupy shit! What I never realized then was the fact that my only source of music was MTV, and understandably music was sold based on visual appeal. This was the time I was starting to be really disillusioned with music. I did find some uplifting moments though.
“I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never going to
Keep me down”
I never really deciphered the “uplifting” pun in most songs and never figured out the drug or sexual connotations in the songs. I guess innocence and blissful ignorance did go hand in hand in my adolescence.
In the late 90’s I’d reached a point of giving up on music. Thought it’d just not be the same. I was probably one of those misguided by what music channels had to offer.
“I ain't saying you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's all right”
Napster was a boon. It restored hope for a better tomorrow. I started discovering some new music, or some music that was lost in the sands of time. Suddenly my relationship with music took a more philosophical turn. Started believing I’d already missed out on some really good music but thanks to the internet, I did have some access to it.
“I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song.
I’m twenty-two now but I wont be for long
Time hurries on.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown”
And we now have torrents. So my musical tastes start traveling on auto pilot. First there’s metal, then all genres of classic rock, some rock and roll, then some world music and more blues, and even more jazz…I could probably write a book on all the music I’ve listened to ever since.
Some love stories never end. This one has just begun.
So dear bloggers, I implore you to check out your collection and enjoy the trip.
“So I say
Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me”