Friday, February 28, 2014

Why I love traditional music.

Traditional music has pretty much been my life for the last 20 years or so. It's as much a surprise to me as anyone, since I had grand plans to be a rock star (hahahaha). And while I still love plenty of contemporary music, it's these old songs & tunes from before electronics that really have my heart.

Traditional music is honest. It's usually built around one voice or one instrument to tell the story or convey the melody. It's naked. It's not hiding anything. It's the product of several generations sharing music and passing it down so it won't drown mercilessly in a sea of autotuned, overproduced drivel.

When you get a group of musicians together, it's spontaneous. Anything can happen, and it often does. I've seen it. I've been part of it. And let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing in the world I would trade for that experience. All the full orchestration and five-part harmony in the world can't capture what happens at a pub session or around a campfire or in someone's living room. It doesn't need elaborate stage sets or fussy costumes. It doesn't need pyrotechnics. It doesn't need anything but people who love to play, and people who love to listen.

A friend once described traditional music as an unbroken thread reaching back to the musicians of the past. I hope to keep spinning that thread until I can't spin anymore, and I hope that along the way, I might inspire someone else to take up spinning as well. I believe in the importance of keeping the music of our ancestors alive, because you can't know where you're going unless you know where you've been. 

Till next time --- honor your traditions.

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