Dancing About Architecture
Maaaaaannnny years ago when CDs first appeared on the market I panned them, specifically deriding their inability to sufficiently reproduce serious bass resonance as well as vinyl could. I still feel that way, although the comparative availability of the CD format forced me to make it the bulk of my music collection. I parted ways with much of my vinyl collection in 1998, but if I havent found an album on CD anywhere I have kept my vinyl copy. Also I have a few albums only on cassetteusually these are tape dubs of friends vinyl albums Ive never found on vinyl or CD for myself, plus some excellent rarities of only local renown such as Scott Warrender’s shows The Texas Chainsaw Manicurist and The January Book and original music composed/compiled for dance productions I lit in the early 1990s.
So why so many albums, whatever the format? Two reasons.
1. I love music. Music is one of the most massively passionate aspects of my lifeI love to sing, to play piano, to dance to everything from tacky 70s disco to Handels Messiah, to learn to play various musical instruments (I have a flute, a hammered dulcimer, and a harp, and in the past Ive played French horn and trombone) . Above all, however, I revel in the appreciation of music in its many forms, whether Im getting off on following the trumpet lines in the score of Stravinskys Le Sacre du Printemps at the Le sageDanse de la terre section, lying on the floor in a dark room listening to Kate Bushs Watching You Without Me (on endless repeat) on headphones, thrashing around a dance floor to Michael Jacksons Dont Stop til You Get Enough, laughing through a Pussy Tourette CD, going half-blind with wonderment over Loitumas kantele patterning, or whatever.
2. About the excessive number of albums from certain groups: a part of me functions on a collect the whole set mentality. Personally I blame my numismatist father for this aspect, but to be fair I should add that when I hear excellent music I often want to hear everything else ever produced by any musician involved in that performance. Sometimes this is worthwhile, and sometimes it isnt; I rectify the situation by winnowing my CD collection from time to time and letting go of the ones which no longer interest me and friends who have visited for dinner can testify that these CDs are up for grabs. None of these are available for sale, but sometimes I do change my mind, so if you see one you want, email me (citoyen à markelliswalker.net) about it; if its one Im ready to let go, Ill send it to you, and if its not Ill try to track down a copy for you. If you have something to offer in trade for one of my CDs, great; if not, great.
The Internet has made a huge difference in my approach to musics role in my life, both by speeding up the spread of information about available discs and by making it possible to get a taste of less-heard music (sometimes directly from the source). The growth of e-commerce has infinitely expanded this trend: now I can find and order a rare disc from a small shop in Finland or Japan just as easily as I can get a major new release from Amazon or the local Tower Records. And (for all the social historians out there) I still visit shops in person nearly as often as I do online but online Im usually looking for a specific disc, whereas in person Im more inclined to browse and impulse-buy.
When I decided to recreate my website and I revisited my Music page (dating from, what, 1996?) I realized it was time to transcend the list format and convey something about the intrinsically religious role of music in my life. A surprising number of these CDs are albums I can describe sincerely as Music I Wish I Was Making and in fact working as a recording studio engineer is something I would truly love, especially in London and Paris where an incredible amount of vital music has been produced for decades (and, in the absolute Fantasy World version, Id be assisting Dave Stewart in a studio producing ANYONE, the mans got some serious production mojo). Until I find the way into that world, I must content myself with being an enthusiast an appreciator and a promoter, broadcasting the names of artists and works that make life so fantastic when its good and worth surviving when its not. Theres so much wonderful music in the world that it doesnt seem fair to not rave about it when it comes to my attention so heres my raving. Click on any hyperlinked album name to load something about it into this pane, although only a third or so have more information than tracklists and release data. As time permits Ill be adding commentary on most of the linked albums.
Its very telling that when I went through my CD collection to choose the discs I felt were most important to highlight I selected more than half of them.
Thanks for reading this. I hope you enjoy browsing my collection; drop me a line (citoyen à markelliswalker.net) if you want to tell me how much you love a certain artist or album Im not interested in criticisms (either of the works cited here or of the site itself), but I love to hear that music and its makers are appreciated.
updated 23 July 2006