Thursday, August 20, 2015

How I Came To Music Appreciation

I grew up loving classical music. As a young child, I found a recording of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and fell in love. My music appreciation, at that time, was strictly classical, for the most part. Sure, every now and then I would hear some song on the radio that caught my fancy and I distinctly remember sitting in our living room when The Beatles made their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.

You see, my parents always watched the Ed Sullivan Show and, suddenly, there were The Beatles and hundreds of screaming girls in the audience. I thought this was very strange; why would the girls be screaming? I looked back at my parents to get their take on it but there was dead silence. It was just as if someone had set a bomb off. I can still see the shocked expression on my mom’s face.

Well pop music remained just sort of a fascination and, as I studied my classical music, I grew more convinced that it was just a lower, debased form of music. Then I went to the Peabody Music Conservatory in Baltimore. Here was a very conservative musical institution that held the line on music teaching at the end of the eighteen hundreds. This was strictly classical and the composition teacher was famous for saying that jazz wouldn’t last. He had not stepped out for some decades, evidently, because there was jazz in every club in Baltimore.

I don’t know if it was in reaction to the extreme conservativeness of that environment or what, exactly, but my peers and myself decided we were definitely not conservative anymore. There was a lot of experimenting with altered states of mind, sexual activities and things of that nature.

We were innovating, really, although we didn’t know it. We decided that good music was good music no matter where or when you found it. We started an extracurricular activity called Music Appreciation, where students from all around would bring their favorite music and it would be played. These sessions went on for hours with no conversation whatever; only dead silence and rapt attention to whatever music was on. The program ranged from jazz to pop to classical.

After it was over, people would just move off and sort out their opinions on what they had heard or have a discussion amongst their selves. And it was in Music Appreciation that I learned there are more similarities than differences in different musical genres even if there are centuries separating them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Music Taboos You Should Break

You might not be aware of it but there are a lot of music taboos in society. You probably haven’t thought much about it but here are some music taboos you should break;
  • That music that you like, that all your friends say is un-cool, you need to start listening to it and screw what your friends think.
  • It should not be taboo to start being your own music critic and stop relying on authorities such as ‘music critics’ and ‘media popularity.’
  •  It’s not taboo to like more than one genre in music. In fact, you can like as many different genres as you want.
  • It’s not taboo to think that music from an older time period is cool. Every age had its new music and artists that shook up the status quo.
  •  Music is not meant to be just in the hands of ‘professionals.’ It’s not taboo to pick up an instrument and start to learn to play it.
  • It’s not taboo to listen to your own Muse; ‘everybody’s got one.’

You can compare a lot of these taboos to the taboos that Moses’s followers had, coming out of Egypt. Sounds strange, right? But think about what Moses’s laws were trying to do; to separate those people from the people and culture of Egypt.
Now, every new generation has had its own music and mainly to what end? To create an identity that is separate from the previous generation. Take a look; it’s been going on for longer than you might think. Now it’s no longer counter-culture but very much a tool of the establishment. The suits that are collecting the money are blessing all these taboos and taking it to the bank. Meanwhile, culture suffers and creative freedom goes down the drain.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nine Freaky Reasons New Music Could Get You Fired

As a composer and sociologist, I have tracked trends in history that are associated with new music. As a composer of new music, I feel duty-bound to reveal these findings to the society at large because they are not all ‘tea and crumpets,’ as the British say. Even though new music is a good thing overall, its introduction into society can initially cause some upheaval. This begins on a personal level and can spread, as Plato so sagely warned. Therefore, in the spirit of fair play, I present the following list of ‘Nine Freaky Reasons New Music Could Get You Fired;’
  1.  If you work in a classified area of the government, being caught listening to new music will most certainly cause you to be reprogrammed and reassigned. If you are one of the guys who are in charge of ‘pushing the button,’ this most assuredly is true. The reason behind this is new music tends to deprogram the mind rather quickly; you might start to think life is worth living and no longer have any desire to push buttons.
  2. You might tell your boss to ‘take this job and shove it!’ This will usually get you fired pretty quickly.
  3. You might be caught smiling and dancing a lot and this will make your boss think you are on something.
  4. You might violate the dress code by growing your hair and wearing kaki safari suits to corporate meetings and saying things like ‘whatever,’ after the profit graphs are presented.
  5. Your boss might overhear you, as you stand in front of the pictures of your wife on your desk, saying; “Well, how did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife and this is not my beautiful house!”
  6. Your boss may fire you after you ask to take a year off to go ‘look for America.’
  7. Your boss may fire you after overhearing you tell a friend that you are ‘back on the chain gang.’
  8. Your boss might take exception to you not using the intercom system but instead singing out loudly; “Big boss man! Can’t you hear me when I call?”
  9. You could get caught, covertly sabotaging the sound system in the office elevator.

And there you have it; some of the risks involved with new music down through the ages. Be thankful that, in this day and age, you only get fired. Back in the dark ages, listening to new music could get you stoned or burned at the stake.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What Fans Are Saying When They Listen To Music By Dizzy O'Brian

Dizzy’s Fan Mail has been building for some time now, so there has been quite a lot of feedback on what people say when they listen to music by Dizzy O’Brian. Here are a few select responses;
Paige Kelly wrote;
“Hi..recently i've been listening to your music…quite often and it's because your sounds really turn me on. I promise i will always…recommend it on my facebook. Have a nice day today and EVVRRYDAYYY!!!”

Dene Casres said;
“Hey, I personally think that it shows that you are more musically gifted if you can bring us different kinds of music than just playing the same thing tune after tune. I like your music very much because of its diversity and you are not tryin' to repeat yourself or any artist out there. I appreciate the creativity you put into your music style.”
From a true fan of all your music.

Mui Cheung wrote to say;
“wow i'm so happy I found your music... This tune A Dragon is so awesome, so I can play it over and over…It's soooo rare to find good and ineresting music nowdayzzz )))”
Thx. Mui.

Stephanie Wood wrote;
“your music I play on Repeat repeat repeat”

Roshel Wesley said;
“Rhapsody in black" ... Love this tune, it's pure magic!!”

These are but a few of the many fan letters that have been coming in, praising the new sounds of Dizzy O’Brian. 
 Find out why fans are saying what they do, after they listen to music by Dizzy O’Brian.