January 2006 – Vol. III, Issue 1
On a Personal Note: Rediscovering Music
Yeah, I’m a musician. Kind of. I’ve been a little disconnected from my music the past few years as I’ve been focusing on work, my kids and husband, my business. But a few things recently have rekindled my passion for listening to, and making, great music.
Today (Saturday the 14th), I had the opportunity to audition. Now, it’s been a while. I think the last audition I experienced was in 1997 for my first handbell choir. And today, I had the chance to audition to be a substitute for The Bells on Temple Square, a bell choir organized last April to support the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Had I known about the bell choir, I might have auditioned last year. Right after the director greeted us, he let us know that he was basically looking for three men from our group of four men and 28 women, but that if a woman were to rise to the top, he was keeping an open mind and may add some women to the substitute roster. I don’t know if I’ll make it, but the audition process was challenging and exhilarating.
Costco carried some piano music “favorites” compilation books this past fall. I decided to buy them for myself for Christmas and have Paul give them to me. He was all-too-happy to get out of the present-picking responsibility. So now we’ve got to get our 1915 hand-me-down piano tuned…
I played my husband’s nephew’s new guitar on Christmas. It’s been a while since I picked mine up, and my fingers are definitely out-of-shape. And I hadn’t hit muscle memory yet with my chords, so those were a little rusty as well. But I was reminded how much fun I had learning to pluck and finger-pick and strum. And our oldest daughter was fascinated. She’s seen and heard me play the guitar before, but it’s been so long that it’s a novelty to her almost-three-year-old mind.
My husband and I bought ourselves a 60GB Photo iPod for our sixth anniversary last year. That was after my Christmas gift of the iPod Mini totally flopped; Paul found out that he ran out of room before he ran out of CDs that he really wanted on there. So we splurged and got one that would fit all of the CDs in the CD collection and still have room for Podcasts and lots more CDs. We’ve hooked the iPod up to the sound system and can either choose an artist, album, or play it on random through the house. So we’ve rediscovered some of the CDs we haven’t listened to for quite some time. And because just turning on the iPod is so easy, we’re listening more.
And, last but not least, my discovery from this past week! I might have put this in the “Recommended Resources” if it weren’t pure indulgence, but I’m so excited about it that I’ve been talking it up everywhere else and wanted to mention it to you music lovers out there. It’s called Pandora, and it defies description a bit… it’s basically a music player that gets to know your musical tastes and plays music that has the same qualities as the music you like. How do they know? They’ve got professional musicians on staff who listen to every track and catalog it based on specific descriptors. You can create up to 100 custom channels, and it’s free to listen if you don’t mind that it’s ad-supported. It recently was profiled in Fast Company magazine, which is where I came across it. It was created by Tim Westergren and his “Music Genome Project.”
My challenge to all of you in the coming year: discover some new music, get back to creating it, do whatever you feel will rekindle your love for something you’ve let fall out of your life a bit. Enjoy!
Fast Company‘s Pandora feature: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/101/pandora.html