Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Listening To ... Music As A Vehicle

One Quiet Night : Pat Metheny (Warner, 2003)
Music can be all sorts of things : it can be exciting, it can be joyous, it can take over your mind or it can relax you almost to the point of unconsciousness. As someone who had to live without music during ten years of deafness I love every facet of it, I love its richness and I love its diversity. Music can also be a vehicle : a means towards the achievement of some other end. Sometimes this might be making a car journey more bearable, other times it might be thinking through a troublesome problem. Just because music is being used as a vehicle doesn't mean that it has to be muzak : not every vehicle has to be a Fiat Panda.
Currently I am listening to Pat Metheny's 2003 CD "One Quiet Night". If it is music as a vehicle, it's a souped-up Bentley. Pat Metheny has been a leading jazz guitarist for more than thirty years and has produced some award-winning and memorable CD's. This particular album sees Metheny on his own with just his guitar and a selection of tunes. It was recorded in his home studio so it's relaxed and informal : like having the man sit in the corner of your room picking out tunes and following his own thoughts. The music provides just enough structure to guide your mind along a chosen path. It transports you but it doesn't take over your life. Now that's what I call music.....

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