Music of the Spheres

Like massive humming tops in space, the planets each emit a different tone, and together, they create a musical harmony – much like a solar-systemly choir.

And if you believe that, you’re not as bonkers as it might seem. NASA (the North American Space Agency) detected, way back in 20003, sound waves 57 octaves lower than middle-C ‘rumbling away’ from a supermassive black hole in the Perseus cluster – so there you go.

Do you know how easy it is to write music? It’s an absolute piece of cake! It’s incredibly easy – all you do is string a few notes together and write them down, and then a few more and … okay, here’s the thing – it’s easy to write music, but it’s a bit trickier to make it sound good enough so that people actually want to listen to it.

Which bring me to this question: have you listened to some of the songs these days? I know that some of you are still into music that was around when you were a teenager, but try listening to stuff that today’s teenagers are listening to now, because it’s … Oh, you are a teenager. Hmm – well in that case you’ll know just what I’m talking about.

Here are some observations on the song writing tendencies of the people producing hits in 2016:

  • Upbeat. The songs these days are unremittingly jolly. They fairly bounce along, and you will be hard pressed to stop yourself from jiggling your fingers, toes and bumbalum along with them. Just try listening to This Girl by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners without shaking some of your body and you will understand what I mean.
  • Collaboration. No one seems to be able to manage to record a song by themselves any more. Everyone is hooking up with someone else for whatever reason. I mean, they did that in the past, sure – think of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – but at least they stuck together for a while. Now it’s Drake ft. Kyla & Wizkid one week, Rihanna ft. Drake the next, then Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna the week after that. It’s like one big, fat, hairy, year-long love-in!
  • Percussion. They don’t got instruments playing tunes any more in songs, they got percussion. It’s like the whole thing has been taken over by some kind of crazy, multi-track drum machine with weird sounds programmed in. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, take a listen to Hands to Myself by Selena Gomez, which features so many percussive clicks, moans and sighs that in the end, you just lose track of them and have to just relax and enjoy the experience. There isn’t really a melody to speak of – not even in Selena’s singing. It’s just a huge sampled smorgasbord of hooks and riffs. It’s actually quite wonderful.
  • Others. Here’s a funny thing – you have to listen to these songs on your own, and you have to really try to ‘get into the groove’. Once you insert yourself into the beat and weave your consciousness around whatever tune you can find, then you will discover yourself enjoying these songs as much as any that you digged in your own youf. Here’s the thing though – don’t try playing any of these songs to anyone else of your generation – no matter how much you think that they love you, get you, or will follow you to the ends of the earth. When it comes to music – they need to find it for themselves, or never. In fact – you can even spoil it for yourself. Listening to a song through your own ears is a totally different experience to listening to it through someone else’s ears. Try it if you don’t believe me. You’ll see.
  • Ranchy. Just a quick word of warning – if you plan to discover ‘modern music’ by watching videos, then you will find that sex plays a very big part in the presentation of these songs. I could shoot a few examples across the table, but what’d be the fun in that? We all have our own quirks and preferences and I trust that you’re smart enough to get down and get dirty in your own inimitable style – or not – as the case may be. Just don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

I once heard about this experiment where scientist took a whole bunch of old people and wrapped them up with the kinds of music, movies, sounds, surroundings and clothing they used to wear when they were in their hey-day. Unsurprisingly, the egg-heads found that this group were a whole heap happier than the control group who, I suppose, were sat around all day in their high chairs watching TV. And that’s fine – good luck to them.

But what I’m proposing here is something quite different. The world is constantly changing, and so it makes no sense to get stuck in a particular era or sound. If we move with the times and actively embrace the new then we will find a whole heap of happiness and fulfilment right here on our doorstep – every single day.

I mean – what could possibly be more perfect than that!