I grew up with music. My mother nor my brother were musically inclined, but we had music in the house. Sometimes it was Mum’s Elvis albums playing, sometimes it was my brother’s KISS albums. I liked the pop music of the 70s, but am sort of too embarrassed to say which bands (*koffkoff Leif Garrett koffkoff Donny&Marie koffkoff*). Thanks to our differing tastes in music, I’ve developed an open mind on the subject.
I remember sitting with Grandpa and watching the Tommy Hunter Show. So I wasn’t adverse to Canadian country folk music either.
My other grandpa (Grandpa Landry) was a fiddler. Whenever he pulled out his violin, I would sit next to him, and he’d let me put my hand on the body as he fiddled. He let me play with it too – no matter how cringe-worthy my pull would be. I have his violin now, and every once in a while, I’ll pull it out and let it screech.
When I entered high school, I decided to join the school band. I can’t remember how that came about, but I had the best band teacher in the world. Mr. Mason encouraged me to try the clarinet, then the flute. I liked the flute better, so I played the flute in the school band for a few years. I eventually got bored with the flute, and decided to switch to percussion. I learned how to play the timpani, and the woodblocks.
Once I got into grade 10, I think I may have stopped playing in the band when Mr. Mason moved away, and the next band teacher wasn’t as patient or couldn’t comprehend how I could play.
I loved to listen to music throughout my teens and adulthood, a good mixture of pop, punk, alternative, classical music, R&B, you name it. Queen. David Bowie. Bauhaus. Tina Turner. John Cougar Mellencamp. The Cramps. Violent Femmes. Soundgarden. So much music. Wasn’t really that much into country though.
I am so very fortunate to count among my friends professional musicians. They really do enrich my life.
I remember the stereo having a “visualizer” where you could see the movement of the green or red bars moving to the bass. I could stare at it forever while I listened to the music. Perhaps for me, that was the musical equivalent of close captioning. If the albums had lyrics, I would follow the lyrics as I listened. I might even repeat the song over and over and over until I placed the lyrics.
I had over the ear headphones which worked well over my hearing aid, if I positioned them in such a way that they didn’t cause feedback. The bigger the headphones, the better.
Now, with the latest technology, I have a T-coil based headset, which isn’t a headset really, but a neck loop with a bluetooth connection, so I can connect to my music player. The t-coil works with the “T” mode of the hearing mode. (T stands for Telephone), and my hearing aid automatically switches to T-mode when I have it on and the headset picks up the music via bluetooth. The result is neat. If you were next to me, you would not hear anything. For me, it sounds like the music is coming from inside my head, rather than an external source. Which, in a way, it is. The sound is being transmitted to the hearing aid body, and then through the earmold into my ear canal, where the brain then picks up the sounds. It is far superior to the headphones of old.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.
Published March 12, 2016