The power of music
Tuesday, 17 Jul 2007
If you visited the Basheer house this past weekend you would have heard Duke Ellington, U2, The Cat Empire, Muse, Simon and Garfunkel, R.E.M, Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Ravi Shankar. Such is the diversity of music enjoyed by the members of our house – this week that is.
It’s hard for me to imagine a life without music. Growing up I always recall music being a part of my life. By the age of four I was prone to giving singing concerts to anyone who would listen – including shoppers in busy department stores! Before I even started school I knew the words to Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue and I was fascinated by the guitar, piano and my dad playing soulful tunes on the harmonica.
My life is almost like a musical timeline, which I’m sure you can relate to. Like most kids growing up, I listened to what my elders played and my early years were filled with the sounds of Neil Diamond, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Elvis and country music of all kinds. Music brought family together with gatherings usually accompanied by a great deal of singing.
At age eight I became a Countdown devotee. Countdown was an Australian made music show and at 6pm every Sunday my family would sit down to watch and listen to the latest sounds. A whole new world of music opened up to me as I discovered bands like The Bay City Rollers, Split Enz, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Sweet and AC/DC. I treasured my very first music cassettes that came in my Christmas stocking that year, even the one by David Cassidy!
By thirteen I’d had my fill of glam rock as teen angst began to be fuelled alongside The Clash, The Smiths, The Church and The Cure as well as mum’s melancholy Leonard Cohen records. Secretly I loved Meatloaf, as well as XTC and nearly all the ‘new’ romantic bands! At fifteen, I heard U2 for the first time on the radio at my neighbour’s house. The song was Gloria and I was so captivated by their sound and energy that I began dancing around the neighbour's house outrageously.
A little later, I fell in love for the first time to the backdrop of Dire Straits, falling out of love to the very same tunes not too long after. Close friendships were forged over INXS, The Hoodoo Gurus and Psychedelic Furs as we sang our way through first jobs, boys and moving out of home.
My twenties were enhanced by the music of The Cranberries, Paul Kelly, R.E.M and as I began my family, it was lullabies for babies. Around this time I also discovered the soothing sounds of New Age/Ambient music and my favourites included Enya, Tony O’Conner, Dead Can Dance, Terry Oldfield, Medwyn Goodall and Phil Thornton.
During my thirties I took to world music in a big way as WOMAD, a music festival in Adelaide, introduced me to the sounds of India, Africa, South America and the Middle East. I could listen to Khalil Gudaz play the sitar for hours on end – much to the chagrin of my fellow Intrinsic team members! More jazz has crept into my CD collection and as my children learnt instruments – violin, flute and piano – the classics made their way into our home also.
Music is extraordinarily powerful. Music is passion set to a beat or rhythm. It touches the very core of our being and can just as easily move you to tears or send your body moving into a dancing frenzy like a Whirling Dervish.
Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote “Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.” And to this I say, turn off the TV, put something inspiring into the record player and soak up the notes.
- Read about Danny Hooper's passion for music
- Share your thoughts for music in the
In Tune section.