2012-11-21

Music As Art

Some days, you just luck out. Yesterday was one such day for me.

There I was, working on my laptop with my headphones on, listening to music as I worked. Eventually the moment came, as it so often does, when nothing I had heard previously seemed to be appealing to me. I had grown tired of all the songs to which I had access. I needed new music!

Now, I am a veteran music listener. I have been through the YouTube video recommendations, the video discovery tool, Pandora, Last.fm, and all the rest of it. I have scoured the liner notes of every music album I own, searching for artists I may not have heard before. I have devoured every measure of music I could get my hands on. I have always tried to discover the best music I can, using every means available to me.

Sometimes, though, you just have to stumble on something. So I pulled up YouTube and entered "instrumental music" into the search field. There were a few noteworthy results, but the majority of it seemed to be either karaoke backing tracks or new age music, neither of which appealed to my mood at the time. Strike one.

I decided that perhaps what I needed to do was search for "fast instrumental music." I gave that a try, and came up with a few more interesting pieces. But none of the results really stuck with me. Strike two.

Afraid of getting a thousands links to Hedras Ramos videos, I nevertheless decided to run a search for "instrumental guitar music." Here, things got a little more interesting. Third time's the charm, I guess. Under that search string, I came to a series of videos posted by a character on YouTube with the amusing username "shatnershairpiece."

The first video I clicked on was a nearly hour-long improvisation entitled "Dank Domain."
What an incredibly musical and interesting piece of music! Intrigued, I descended deeper into shatnershairpiece's YouTube channel and discovered a series of live performances from an incredible rock jam band trio, perhaps the best of which is this thing of beauty right here:
And finally, my journey lead me to the holy grail: this musician's probable BandCamp page.

Between the YouTube channel and the Bandcamp page, there is more than enough incredible improvised guitar music to keep a hungry listener occupied for several days, if not weeks.

Now, I can't say what you will love about this music, but I can say what I love about it. I love how the artist is able to explore many musical ideas - for hours on end - without repeating himself too much, and while keeping the listener deeply interested. I love how the artist need not rely on fancy guitar techniques to satisfy my hunger for great chops and excellent melodic and harmonic ideas. I love how each and every track contains a multitude of melodies. I love his sense of rhythm.

This is a truly random discovery - the absolute best kind, from a listener's perspective! It is much like discovering a hidden cave of treasures. Suffice it to say, this is a cave I'll be exploring for quite some time, and I urge you to do the same.