Thursday, January 23, 2014

Music Then and Now

Many say Flipinos are a bunch of music lovers. Music pervades our culture. I’d bet that the most common appliance you would find in the communities straddling this archipelagic country is a music player in the form of the trusty AM/FM radio/transistor and in its sophisticated versions we now have – stereo, component, iPod, smart phones and what-have-you. In the 80’s and even into the 90’s, if I recall correctly, the walkman was such a hit with the youth, used with cassette tapes then later on with compact discs. The Apple revolutionized the platform for playing music in the new millennium with the introduction of the iPod. Of course, Filipinos were not to be left behind. Didn’t you just love your iPod? No? Oh, I didn’t have my own either, but I loved it just the same. It was the coolest thing.

Since the iPod craze, music has been made, distributed and enjoyed the world over via highly digitized platforms. With that, I think music has largely changed. I do not enjoy music as I did before. It could be that it has something to do with that fact that music is a lot easier to produce now with GarageBand and other music softwares, that there are now so many artists concocting songs, tinkering with melody digitally that the music scene has become louder than ever. For me, it kind of lost its “soul” so to speak, its lyrical, romantic appeal. I have long ago lost track of the new artists, even the most popular Grammy awardees. Not that I was ever a fanatic follower of the international and local music industry.

I’m a self-confessed sucker for mushy artists belting love songs, you know, the likes of Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, and later of the more elegant and low-key Julia Fordham and Sarah McLachlan. But it seems I got stuck in their era, and since have had little interest in artists that succeeded them, except maybe for that British female artist who won a lot of Grammy awards last year for songs she herself wrote and performed. My memory is so poor, I can’t even remember her name!! Goodness me! See, I lost it really after the 1990’s era, and never moved on to the times of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Paris Hilton, Carrie Underwood and the many others. Show me their photos, and I wouldn’t be able to tell who’s who right away. Oh, well, but I know Jessica Sanchez, and the cute guy who beat her at American Idol, Phillip Phillips (but had to google the correct spelling). Haha!

Seriously, I can not claim any right to speak about music! But, I don’t know, this nice, cool, windy weather has perked me up. I wanted to sit at this table (where I am now) across this window where I see and hear the rustling of leaves of a mango tree. So now I know I’m sounding awful. But who cares? I wanna write! Just because. I got inspired by the wind and the music it orchestrates upon the leaves. And I want to curate my so-so thoughts, and take advantage of free blogging privileges of writers, and writer-wanna-be’s like me. Indulge me, my precious friend, reader. There are very few of you, so I really appreciate that you’ve cared to drop by again in my small world. I know my readership is not going to pick up if I do not take my blog content seriously and just write as I feel, without feeling the need to research my topic, make several drafts, customize this blog's look, and zero in on what's currently relevant or trending. But serious isn’t fun, and I’m here just to have fun, to pass time, and shake up my foggy brain. So, if I may go on…

Don’t we just sing along to songs of the past easily? We sing along songs on the radio that we really didn’t pay attention to before but surprisingly and unknowing to us, use up some of our brain cells. We are able to sing Beatles, Carpenters, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, James Ingram, Barry Manilow, Madonna, and among the Filipino artists, we know by heart the popular songs of Jose Marie Chan, Rey Valera, Odette Quesada, Joey Albert, Kuh Ledesma, Sharon Cuneta, Martin Nievera, and Ariel Rivera to name a few, even by Claire Dela Fuente (Sayang) and her contemporaries. The distinct melody of their songs and beautiful well-thought lyrics have seeped into our subconscious. Why, we’d be tapping the wheel as we sing Manic Monday, Border Line, You’ve Got a Friend! They’re the kind of songs that I miss. I don’t know the artists behind the songs most of the time, but play me the song and I’d be able to sing along.

The comeback of vinyl and turntables is refreshing. It is unearthing the music of the past, and hopefully it inspires new artists to look back and learn from the great artists/musicians that preceded them.

Now, so much of my blabbering. I should now be well on the way to fetch my son from school. I had fun writing this, I lost track of time. Until my next post, dearest. Bye!

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