20 July 2008

DIY Music

This afternoon, I had an unexpected opportunity to hear a conservatory-trained musician messing around on a piano, playing Bach, Chopin, and his own compositions. It made my day. What touched me the most is that he makes his living doing something else entirely. He plays and composes for himself, because he likes to. What a simple reason.

When I watched the Collective Soul concert with the Altanta Youth Symphony Orchestra, I wondered how many of those kids would keep playing their instruments after they aged out of the orchestra, or after they graduated from college. When was the last time someone pulled out an oboe or violin to mess around with at a cookout? Is the guitar the instrument that has eaten all the others? Has home-made music been replaced by professional musicians and iPods?

Far from it. I've been poking around on YouTube lately and keep running into videos of people playing just about anything you can think of that makes noise, sometimes well and sometimes badly, but just for fun. We live in a world that lets us peer into someone's room and share this moment:

(for better or worse, judge for yourself)

This is nice, and I particularly like the encouraging comments on the site:

And this is what I got for "punk autoharp":

It also appears there is a great upsurge of ukulele:

This all encourages me to keep enjoying my recorders and accordion, just for me, just to enjoy the process. (Do not, however, expect to see or hear me on YouTube anytime soon.)

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