The Formative Years – Classical Music
The fact that the strict principles classical music from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries adhered to became the foundation of pretty much any musical genre that was going to emerge after the heydays of its original composers should not be surprising to anyone remotely into music.
Listen to how Beethoven epically channelled his inner turmoil, Handel’s oratorios, the complexity of Bach’s compositions, Mozart’s focus on three to four chords and specifically Schubert’s arrangements, and it becomes obvious that their reoccurring themes served as the blueprint not only for what was going to become the chorus of modern music but the DNA of rock and punk.
Specifically the Baroque period and its richly ornamented emissions, timbre and extensive use of contrast as a dramatic element, has provided the framework for what blue and rock was going to evolve to.
My first exposure to classical music was in elementary school where we were taken to concerts and made to choose an instrument to learn. While I thoroughly enjoyed it, it did not really resonate with my inner core.
That was about to change when in my pre-teens when I was exposed to Anthony Burgess’ Clockwork Orange, where the main protagonist’s conditioning against classical music and specifically references to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the resulting events not only sparked a deeper connection but also the urge to watch and listen how Stanley Kubrick transitioned the book into the realm of cinema.
The way the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange combined classical music and electronic music and the impression it made on me not only changed my outlook on music and what it could serve as a catalyst for, but also instantaneously explained where quite a few of the more successful synth pop bands of the eighties got their inspiration from.
Under the aegis of an ambitious music teacher, my early teens not only saw a departure into punk rock and juvenile delinquency but into the Beatles’ rich catalogue and the complex compositions of Richard Wager. The latter of which has had a lasting impact on how I interpret musical phrases to be associated with characters and plot element and who made me look at music as a means of story telling and the impact it can have far beyond composition reaching into all facets of life. I cannot neither recall the times I have witness the Nibelungenring incarnate in over twenty countries not the times I was humbled by meeting fellow enthusiasts and the knowledge they were kind enough to share on the intricacies of creative viewpoints and cultivated sensitivities.
Growing older, listening to classical music has become more and more a therapeutic exercise during turbulent times, especially when craving balance, recalibration and symmetry.