Blog, Lifestyle, Music, Writing

Questions in the Air

Good after evening, and welcome to I still haven’t got anything worth writing about.

So I thought I’d find a nice long Q&A to entertain you with my opinions.

Without further ado, let’s go:


1. Do you play an/several instrument(s)? If so, what instrument(s)?

I’m sure I’ve answered this before but here’s the list of instruments I can play at least one song on: Piano, guitar, ukulele, harmonica, accordion, recorder (it’s so crap but have it anyway), and… Oh, that’s it. That’s disappointing. I have been wanting to learn the violin for quite some time but alas the moment in time to take it up never really came about. Ah well.

2. Do you sing? If so, what style?

I do, yes. I don’t sing in any particular style but I suppose we could begin with contemporary. When I was in my later years of secondary school, I did a lot of classical singing. Not the kind that you might get from a proper singing lesson but all the hymns and classical pieces that we did required a certain amount of vocal discipline. There are a lot of vocal nuances that you pick up from casually singing pop and rock songs that can really hinder the clarity of a classical melody. Little dips or slides that might sound stylistic and, well, cool in pop music can sound out of place and messy in classical where it would require purer and clearer notes.

If I’m being specific, as a backing vocalist I sing in whatever style of the band I’m singing for has written in, but I prefer rock and I think I sound best in folk? Undecided, really.

3. Do you beatbox?

Badly.

4. Are you a DJ?

Nope.

5. What do you think about Classical music?

I love it. Of course. And I’m ashamed that I have such little repertoire under my fingers or collections on my shelves. The world of classical music is so soothing, the emotional experience is limitless. The creativity in theme, melody and tonality goes far beyond that of today’s music. I don’t mean to seem pretentious when I say this, but when comparing the complexity and skill of writing pieces that tell full and wholesome stories, merely from the notes that are conveyed by one, two, or even a whole orchestra of instruments, the music that’s being created and celebrated today has gone backwards in ability.

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Naturally, I have no intention to generalise every song or piece made in the past 100 years, and, naturally, I’m sure a lot of classical music was considered crap even in the 1700’s. In fact, no one liked a single thing Mozart wrote and never went to any of his operas (mainly because they were 3 hours long which was absurdly unheard of at the time). However, [insert here a half hour long pause while I YouTube pieces of music I’m obsessed with, even if I’m not always listening to them] I don’t remember what I was going to say here. Other than to simply wrap up with today’s music isn’t all bad, but by choosing easy instead of complex, some of that mysterious musical magic gets lost as time goes by.

6. What do you think about Rock?

I think I’ve gone on about Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy enough for one to determine what I think about rock. Thing is, I know there will be many out there who might dispute my understanding of what is really considered rock based on those band choices. I myself will dispute my true understanding of anything simply because I never branch out. My boyfriend can probably name 15 different metal bands he loves to listen to, whereas I can name 3 and a half “rock” bands. Who are actually alternative rock. Elbow is considered a rock band but even so I still think they’re pretty alternative in their sound. Almost trippy. A bit hippy. I really have no idea how to describe them to do them justice but that would be my band of choice to chill to were I on the green stuff.

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I love rock, despite all of this. Just because I don’t listen to a lot of bands doesn’t mean I haven’t heard a lot of music in this genre. It is my favourite. It’s the easiest genre for me to just jam straight into. I feel like rock bands are more inclined in their genre to explore different sounds than pop or funk etc. Now, what I mean by this isn’t technical sounds but melodic. There’s no one way to write a rock song. There’s the standard line-up of the band – guitar(s), bass, drums, vocals, maybe keys but there isn’t a set chord pattern, song structure or even lyric subject that some other genres are historically more restricted to.

I think a testament to that is how many sub-genres of rock there are, of which some became genres in their own right. Now I’m starting to wish I got more academically involved in my history of pop lessons (I guess the name put me off).

7. What do you think about Pop?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t fully hate on it. I hate on it but I’ve realised that as a musician listening objectively to music I have to find a way to analyse it and appreciate some of the qualities of pop music. It’s “popular” for a reason and I would be an idiot to blatantly ignore it in a generalised “I hate pop music” fashion like a lot of musos tend to. Now “pop” really refers to literally what is the most popular music at the time. Chart music, essentially. What you find at the front of the music store when you walk in. If it’s hit the charts, it’s popular. Thus, pop.

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However in recent years it’s slowly become an actual genre and has its very own recognisable sound; simplistic chord patterns, simple melodies that often become familiar themes, lots of vocal riffs and runs (it’s the in thing), and lyrics geared towards love, relationships, heartbreak and the like. More often than not, the “pop” genre features individual artists over bands and the sounds are more electronic and over-produced than the organic, near acoustic sounds of other genres. A little biased in my explanation there but I did say I hate it. Because of how easy it is musically, because of how bland and… just how awful the lyrics content, more often than not, are. There are so many love songs out there. So many. Most before the last 20 years have been done phenomenally better than the likes of “put your whatsit in my hoohaa and I’ll rate you online” or something equally stupid and vulgar (what kind of conservative, suburban mother have I turned into?). There’s sexy and there’s trashy and then there’s just musical prostitution and I’m not here for it.

But again, not generalising (no one believes me anymore).


Ok, I wasn’t kidding when I said this was a long questionnaire. I wasn’t expecting to get quite so involved in the questions. As such, I’m cutting it short here as there are another 40 odd questions to go and I shall continue next week. Look forward to that.

Signed

Fenwick

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