Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Always seems to come back to music.

I was noticing that everything that I seem to do always comes back to music, or uses music as inspiration. Funny thing is that I have no inclination to learn an instrument for myself. I did have the usual childhood stint at the piano for one year and then violin for two years in middle school but that is it. The violin gig was rather painful for my parents and it left me with a huge weakness for skinny guys who can play the instrument rather well. See attached photo.

However, despite the lack of musical talent I am a large musical connoisseur. This too, took a couple years to fully embrace. In college I hung out with all these people who would trade off "did you hear this really obscure band?"--"oh yeah! they're great. but did you hear this really, really obscure group from New Guinea?". I eventually gave up on trying to stay current with my music knowledge and became a Madonna fan. But now I live in the self-proclaimed music capital of the world and well, now I'm hooked.

I want to do a project where Conner and I travel around the US for a year and study music of America. Actually, it was his idea but I climbed on the band-wagon. I have wanted to do a trip around the states for a while but I thought I would do it after I graduated from grad school, and since that doesn't seem to happening any time soon, I figure now is a perfect time to do it. I'm still in the super early stages of planning and narrowing the "plan". I've been reading a lot of books--like The Rest Is Noise and Struggling To Define A Nation-- and movies--1 Giant Leap, Touching The Sound, Heima, and Surfwise. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated. It's the first stage of weeding out ideas that is the most exciting in it's possibilities and terribly daunting.


eleanore said...

hi rachel, this is nora. its fun to read yours and kat's journey in europe. i hope all is well, and no more bike disasters ensue.

anyway, ive done this kind of trip--- more or less, and i recommend segmenting it into regions-- the south (my personal favorite), the southwest/ west/ west coast/ northeast/ etc. we made folders with each region, separated into states with agendas/ places to stay/ phone numbers etc. we saw mirah in odessa, texas, native american rituals in arizona... and timed it so that we saw so much live music in sixteen states. we researched what each region was famous for, and we sought out the soul and origins of the genre and had a token activity or place to go or thing to retrieve, if that makes any sense.
it was a musical and magical experience. it was a task, and an adventure.
now when i hear certain songs i cant help but remember being on the road. if you find the time and the resources, do it! it'll change your perspective.

take care,


Rachel and Kat said...

Hey Nora!
I was quite surprised to find a comment from you since I haven't checked this one in forever. But thank you! I will totally keep those things in mind and might ask you more questions when I get back to Texas.