I remember Lauren Laverne talking on BBC Radio 6 about the vastness of music and how sometimes we need maps from those who’ve gone before us. It really resonated with me. There is so much music out there, more than ever before, and sometimes it’s difficult to find. Of course, there’s Spotify (and other platforms) but where do you start with 50 million songs to choose from?
I’ve been lucky in my life to meet lots of people, many of them music fans, so I can get some starting points from them and explore a little on my own. Sometimes one song recommendation opens up a whole new genre and I can spend days lost in French Cafe Music or Soul or Delta Blues or even German Industrial Electronica. Sometimes the recommendation doesn’t do it for me but that’s OK, I can usually find something else that does.
Occasionally though I strike gold and along comes someone who is obsessed with music. They live and breathe it. They know how everything is connected. Best of all they know, after just a few questions, what I’ll like. They don’t give you one recommendation, they give you a hundred, and each new link opens doors into whole worlds of music. I was lucky enough to meet another one of those people yesterday and now I’m neck deep in new music, at least new to me, and “kid in a candy store” doesn’t quite cover it. I have armfuls of tracks which I’ll drop because there’s something wonderful over there that I haven’t tried yet (don’t worry I’ll go and pick them up later), then I’m distracted by some piece I knew but had forgotten, and then there’s that version of that song that is even better than the one I already love. Oh my.
While sometimes the world seems to be falling apart (again) and our leaders seem to have totally lost the plot (again), it’s good to remember that there is infinite wonder out there. Not just music and literature and images and makes but ideas and grace and love and peace. And, yes, we have to try and help to make the world a better place to live in, but we can grab handfuls of wonder to help us.