My years in the world of consumer internet has successfully rewired a lot of  my neurons. I ,now , believe that any opinion standing on the shoulders of anecdotal evidence should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. I also process to be against hypocrisy. Yet, the very same neural patterns which have colluded to form my current worldview makes me make a conjecture that all human beings like music. While it is true that one person’s music may be other persons noise, every person I have met in my life likes some music or other.  My own likes and dislikes are an over-represented data-set of my universal set of data points.  This was a rather convoluted way of saying I love to listen to songs.

For me my love for singing sometimes goes beyond listening. I was once a semi decent singer. I have a few fragments of papyrus alluding to my vocal chords . I used my vocal chords to make a few of my ragging sessions to singing sessions.  In fact, I had used it to escape from physical drill of my first year NCC camp’s physical training . I performed a so-called musical performance for three minutes for the end of camp cultural performance and spent the rest of the camp practicing the song (eating food) and putting on weight while my friends went through a hellish boot camp.. While I no longer perform for an audience of more than me , I still try to learn a song once a while.

I come from a place called Assam and learned to express myself in Assamese. For as long as I can we always had an over-abundance of great music. The fact that our most important festival is all about song and dance could have a role in this. Invariably and frequently, I come across a song that touches my heart. I have away from my motherland for the last decade and a half. In these years, I have spoken very few Assamese words. I have seen  Assamese transition from my first language to second language to third and back to second. Today, Assamese is my second language but my vocabulary is bankrupt.

Yet, I feel an emotional connect when listening to Assamese songs which I do not feel when I listen in other languages. Of the songs that touched me, the song Majuli touched me a lot. I have never been to Majuli, It has always been an answer to a general knowledge question to largest river island of the world. I am not sure if it is the largest island in the world but our Assam based text books, sure, think it to be true. Whenever, I try to try to learn this song, I feel my eyes getting mist.

 

I feel sad that I do not know the meaning of all the worlds used in the song. At the same time the visuals of lusty green and flooded fields overwhelms my endocrine system. The sight of Assamese temple is very confusing. I no longer believe in existence of God and avoid religious ceremonies like plague. Yet it transports me to the days when I used to accompany my grandfather to our home temple as he conducted prayers. My grandfather who was far ahead of his times and did not care for the fact I was a product of inter-caste marriage. I see small kids sing to a joyous song to the tune of this melancholy song and get my emotions astounded, I should feel happy seeing happy faces but I feel sad. I see the colours of my state and I remember that it is reeling under unprecedented floods and I am not doing much to help. I feel anguish at the lethargy of fellow clan members which makes us languish at the bottom of the rat race of global civilization. I get distracted by song’s part about grandmothers love and the accompanying visuals of a kitchen. I travel back to my childhood to my grandmother’s kitchen. Everyone in the family had to eat in the dining room but I was special to my grandmother, My seat was always near my grandmother’s stove and nobody was given food till I had food. I remember my grandparents who are no longer alive. I remember the house in my village which has been long consumed by expanding river banks of Brahmaputra and then I listen to the same song in an infinite loop.

 

 

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musical infatuation

Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty

I was brought up in a home that had no MTV. For the early part of my life, my experiments with my ear drums were confined to the whims and fancies of doordarshan. As I started calling different geographical co-ordinates as my home,I got a glimpse of the world that lay beyond what I had experienced. But, still I am largely ignorant of the existence of numerous lovely melodies that are yet to be copied by Pritam or Anu Malik. One thing about me is that if I like something I really fall for it and now and then, I come across a song that starts making an infinite loop in my mp3 player. Although I believe I am quite unique, I feel there are many others who might be ignorant of my current infatuation. Besides a new status message and hopefully a few comments don’t hurt my inflated ego.

So here is my current musical infatuation

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materialistic philosophy, my life

What is bad music

I live  in the electronic age, if there was any statement that could stake claim to the Nobel for “stating the obvious”, the opening line of this post would surely make the cut for the shortlist. Having logically argued that the information contained in my opening sequence has 0 bit(not the glamorous bits and bytes but the less famous cousin from information theory) of information, I now shall attempt to straitjacket my digressions from the topic of the post. In the age of iPods and its less successful imitators,   hardly a day goes by when our drums are left parched by the torrential downpour of what makes or has made to popular music charts of the world.Besides any random rendezvous with contemporary literature re-acquaints us with phrases like “face the music”-“music to the ears”. Two phrases that are as far poles apart as literally possible in the sphere  of human interpretation

As with any great specimen of art or human creativity, we all make attempts at being politically correct and at some point of life find ourselves saying you can’t compare A and B, it is like being asked to differentiate between your own children. Having partaken in these diplomatic utterance drenched in the stench of cowardice, we all have our own favourites and the not so favourites. Some wise man once said that we are all hypocritical at some point or the other, I also subscribe to this larger brotherhood of sinners. I shall make no attempt to tell what my favourites are nor will i waste any electricity communicating to you what are my less favourite numbers.I nevertheless shall try to hypocritically try to find a common thread to all that is bad music in my ears.

In my short-life, I have come across people with varying musical tastes,some like Bollywood, some classical, some rock, some pop and others metal or “melodious death metal” as some people refer to it. I find myself navigating across almost genres without prejudice or malice towards any.However I find myself unable to sway my head or foot to cheap imitations or the din called death metal and most forms of rap. But there are people who do like them, hence I find myself reflecting whether there is something wrong with me or is it that there is no universal bad music or good music. Like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, music might  be a feeling that resides only in our ears. For some, even the irritating sound of broken horn could be  source of melody. But as soon as I start to believe this train of thought,  some observations of my life derails my thought process . There are exceptions to everything and there is a reason for existence of the word “exception” in English dictionary, we need a word to describe events that rarely come to pass in the world of our dreams or the world where dreams get created.

This conflict of reasoning ignites in me the hypocrite in me who was simply biding its time, it offers me the easy way out listening to the dictates of the mob and consign my opinions to the billboards. It is then that Pritam comes to my mind. Music sales and theft figures extol the greatness of his scores. But the Indian in me gets  disgraced when I find that he has shamelessly lifted his tunes and does not even give credit to his rightful masters. At moments like this, my conscience wakes up and asks me to free myself from the shackles of hypocrisy and declare that any music I don’t like is bad music.A thinking mind is really nothing but evil, just when I had made peace with many of my conflicting heads, it talks about the songs I have started to detest just because I  had  to listen to them in infinite loop because some of your friends really liked the piece and wanted to announce to the world that.

Having debated over it again and again, I  draw a conclusion that appeals to all warring factions of my conscious mind “A bad music is one that is either rap,shameless cheat,death metal or something I had to listen without my consent”

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