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I was talking to Guan today about music (he always talks about music so it’s almost a given) and wondering is it possible to fall out of love with music? Not necessarily genres of music, but Music with a capital ‘M’. Why is it, as I have gotten older, that my musical tastes have veered towards the middle of the road so much? It seems like an insult to the younger me, who used to go out listen to live music at least once a week, if not more often, and would spend hours poring over albums in shops. I wonder if I was more eclectic musically when I was happier; in less complicated times maybe I was able to explore and taste and enjoy, rather than seeking the musical equivalent of comfort food. Or maybe times were never less complicated, but I just had more emotional energy to give to the seeking of new music.

One way of gleaning new stuff is my tendency to take on the musical tastes of my friends. I think it has something to do with music being part of a person’s DNA for me, it helps me to get to know them better, to know their moods, what makes them tick; if something clicks for me then I collect it and it becomes both part of my musical DNA as well as something that connects me to that other person.

As for my own innate musical DNA…what is it? It’s a total patchwork, a mish-mash of genres and fluff and weird stuff and really quite predictable things. But the bulk of music that I like relates somehow to someone else in my life. Maybe, because music has such an emotional connection for me, it is all about relationship and people and communicating.

Or maybe it’s just music.

Okay, where do some of my things in my mix come from?

  • Carole King from my mum (will always make me think of her)
  • Puccini and Mozart from Richard (many a glass of red wine listening to Maria Callas, or talking about Amadeus)
  • Jazz standards and Miles Davis from Jeremy (for good or for bad, I’m glad I got so well acquainted with Miles)
  • Rickie Lee Jones and Bjork from Sido (sweltering nights in Elizabeth Bay listening to Dat Dere)
  • Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Joni Mitchell from Kristen (singing in her Clovelly flat and talking about guys)
  • Tori Amos and Fiona Apple from Emma (oh how we loved to play Tori on the grand piano!)
  • Ani diFranco from Brett and Georgia (what more can I say? forever in your debt)
  • Indigo Girls from Sam (singing our heads off with gorgeous harmonies in the car during one of the most angst ridden periods of my life…gah)
  • Ben Folds from Heath (leaning on the stage a metre away from the piano at the Metro, awestruck)
  • Gotye and Amy Winehouse from Emush (summer BBQs in Glebe)
  • Anything hip hop and anything off the OC mix tapes from Dave (shutup G)
  • And lots of others that are simmering and cooking in the pot.

I guess I’ll be making more musical connections as time goes on, especially with all the live music I’ll be seeing in January/February with lots of lovely friends (Andrew Bird, Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond, the National, Clogs, Feist, and anyone who’s at the Big Day Out (gnnnh….so…much…music….)). Maybe it’s time to start collecting quality again.