The other day at work, my friend gave me a CD.
It was ‘A Night at the Opera’ by Queen… I was so excited because this was the first time anyone ever gave me music.
Also because Bohemian Rhapsody was the most suggested song from everyone.
I was worried that the massive hype might ruin the experience for me but the first time I heard this song was surreal. I immediately had to listen to it again… and again.
The first line is a question I’ve been asking myself lately.
Is this the real life?
On the same day, I got a message from the Daily Guru. He wanted to give me his new book, The Music Obsessive’s Guide To Life: Volume 1. It’s 954 pages of beautifully written essays. No, there are not any pictures except for the book cover. I read and listened to a couple of them, I’m already hooked.
The next day I got an email from the staff of Spotify. They read my story and were inspired to give me an epic 13 hour playlist that covers everything from the chants of the early monks to Lady Gaga. Spotify also gave me a 6 month premium membership.
I don’t have the slightest clue how to express my gratitude to everyone. A simple ‘thank you’ almost sounds insulting considering the amount of music/education I’ve been given.
For those of you curious, I’ve embedded the Spotify playlist below-
I asked reddit for a couple of suggestions. I got over 14 thousand.
Here are my favorites so far, the only major suggestions I chose to ignore is the Beatles.
Before you shoot me, bear in mind that I’m saving them for a special occasion.
Without further ado, here’s my list.
1. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
2. Beethoven’s Ninth
3. Fly Me To the Moon by Frank Sinatra
5. First Breath After Coma by Explosions In The Sky
6. Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
7. Brain Damage by Pink Floyd
8. Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
9. Length of Love by Interpol
10. Thriller by Michael Jackson
Below are all my favorites that were available on Spotify-
The second most popular suggestion was the Beatles. I chose not to listen to them, I’m holding off for a special occasion. But I promise to blog about my experience hearing them. I’m not sure how many weeks it will take me but I’m working my way up from the roots of music, as early as the 1300′s and up to modern music.
Yahoo did a great Q&A with me. Below are some extra questions I’ve been asked by family and friends.
What could you not hear before that you can hear now? And I was seriously wondering if it became more difficult to understand english if you could hear it properly now.
Before I could hear bass/midtones but not clearly. Now I can hear bass/midtones AND high pitches clearly.
As for english, I never relied on what I heard, but rather lipreading. Now with my new aids, my brain is building a new language for the sounds I’m able to hear now but I’ve already had the new hearing aids take some of the guesswork out of lipreading.
Before the use of any hearing aids, were you able to imagine music? So maybe come up with a rhythmic or repetitive beat or even a basic basic melody in your head? It’s almost unfathomable to “create” a sound with no prior knowledge of one and the concept of music that we are so accustomed to today is so evolved and complex that we’ve been trained since birth to digest it and understand it. So, despite never hearing what instruments or even “sounds” sounded like I was wondering you were at least able to come up with notes in your head that were not identical to each other, a basic melody basically.
My concept of music was based off the bass I could feel. When watching films, I could almost ‘see’ the music based off the bass. It was an incomplete picture but it gave me enough to work off and all the films I created in my head had music in bass form.
Before my new hearing aids, music was 2D to me. Most songs sounded ugly through the old aids because I only had part of the picture. Now with higher pitches music finally makes sense to me. Music is now 3D to me and I’m excited about using this new tool with my films.
Describe your perception of beauty that came through music. Previously, your experiences with beauty were visual or other. You enjoyed the Lacrimosa, yes, but you also perceived what some would call beauty. Was beauty immediately recognizable and then relayed to emotions?
I think beauty in its most fundamental form is a well composed story. It has inception and catharsis. Look at the most beautiful photographs, films, songs or dance.
They all tell a story in some form. A dancer weaves across the room composing a visual expression of emotion. The ups and the downs of life.
That’s what I’ve noticed with the beauty of songs. The most haunting songs take me on an emotional roller coaster through sadness, excitement, happiness, anger, hurt, and love.
I’ve heard a healthy dose of pre-classical music in preparation for the next update. So if you have any suggestions let me know in the comments below. (only works of song composed BEFORE the 16th century)