Tag: Music

Weekly Photo Challenge: Converge

Somehow, to me this picture depicts the convergence of music and nature



I’m married to Steven Wilson? What?

© Naki Kouyioumtzis.Steven Wilson, on location, oxfordshire.

Last night I dreamt of Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree. I dreamt that I was at a mall and I happened to see him there and made conversation with him. He turned from celebrity to acquaintance to friend within minutes. He was not his snobby self at all in my dream. Unlike in another dream I had years ago. In that one, I was married to him and he rode a Bullet, but he never smiled. He was a snob. Don’t be surprised for I’ve seen stranger things in my dreams.

I’m conveniently using this dream as a peg for this blog post. I’m going to briefly recap, only through multimedia, my favourite gigs so far. And I can’t boast about it because I haven’t gone for many. You see, living in India, we are completely deprived of all the Rock music in the world.

Anyway, I was going through my archive and found pictures I had clicked of Steven Wilson, John Wesley and Colin Edwin. This was when I didn’t know that some sort of God was standing in front of me and doing a sound check. This was at IIT Mumbai in December 2009. I didn’t know Porcupine Tree much back then. But I traveled all the way to Bombay anyway and it’s one of the best decisions I have made in life. It’s the cheapest (Rs.600 ticket) concert I’ve been to and the second best concert in my life! It was so amazing standing in almost the first row, alone on an elevated platform, with just around 2000 people. It almost (just almost) felt like Porcupine Tree were playing just for me.

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John Wesley stood in front of me and he is the opposite of snobby Steven Wilson. He is all about the feel. He connects with the audience. And he made eye contact with me once. Ahhh! Mad mad day! I found these pictures. They’re very random, but they’re of the band nevertheless and they were caught on camera by me.

My favourite concert was Metallica in Bangalore! Oh man! Just recollecting that night sends shivers down my spine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any pictures of the gig, but I did record most of the songs. Every time I listen to the Fade to Black recording a huge smile spreads across my face. It’s just such a good feeling to have watched your favouritest song live.

Here is a link of that recording. This is how MAD it was. Nothing Else Matters was hilarious because everyone is singing but no one can go as deep as James Hetfield. One is just beautiful. Imagine it with the audience swaying hands.

That’s my experience of Metallica.

My next concert was Opeth. Although not a very big fan, I enjoyed the concert very much because the previous day I met them and got acquainted with them. And Oh! I fell in love with the drummer, Martin Axenrot and also Åkerfeldt of course. The concert itself was a big blur because of reasons I can’t state. Apparently, my dad reads this blog sometimes. :P But it was enjoyable and somehow, very memorable.

That’s pretty much it. Of course Iron Maiden were in Bangalore twice. I went just once. And it was too insignificant for me because I was a dumb kid in a pink tshirt at a Rock concert head banging all over the place. I’d rather not talk about it.

I seriously hope India can bring in some more good bands. Not metal bands. I’m not into metal. I want some good rock and roll. I want Alter Bridge. Or even someone like Mark Knopfler or Roger Waters. I want!!

The ‘key’ to inner-peace.

I’ve had a craving to play keyboard (piano, synthesizer, call it what you want) for a while now. Maybe a month. I’m not much of a musician. Actually I’m not one at all. I used to play keyboard back when I was 8. It came to me naturally. But I made nothing of it. It is now time to do something about the (self-assumed) hidden talent.

I’m off, tomorrow, to select a keyboard to buy with my hard earned money. I had made a list of things I wanted to buy for other people with my first salary (a football, a basktetball, a pair of shades, a sub from Subway, a vaccum cleaner, the list gets more and more absurd). But who cares about other people, right? I want a keyboard. I’m going to get one.

Found this picture of 6-year-old (ridiculous looking) me posing with a dysfunctional keyboard
Found this picture of 6-year-old (ridiculous looking) me posing with a dysfunctional keyboard

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to zero in on a keyboard. Of course I have a set budget and I want a keyboard that has a nice piano sound. I don’t care much for the other sounds. But how am I supposed to recognise the best sound? I’m not that into music to understand the tone, the bass and whatever else there is to understand. I have seen my friends play guitar and they can tell the slightest mistake in a note. But I can never tune my guitar correctly (Yes, I used to play guitar sometime and never even got to tuning it). I used to play Nothing Else Matters to identify EBG and the low E. For the other two notes, D and A, I didn’t know a song that simple, so I never learnt their sounds.

It’s an art to be able to teach someone guitar. Unfortunately, a rare art. I used to go for classes. A guitar teacher must understand where the student is coming from. If a person picks up a guitar it’s because he has listened to Kirk Hammit or Slash and wants to play like them. The first day I went for class, my teacher taught me Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and then he played Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko to show me how well he can play. I never went back there.

It’s best to learn by yourself. If you need to be able read notes, you can probably take someone’s assistance, but music is something that comes naturally to you. I don’t think you can learn music technically from someone. It’s something that you create. Of course you need to know which two notes sound good together. But that’s your choice. If they sound pleasant to you, it ought to be good enough. It’s just like photography. If you like the picture, it’s good enough for you. After all, you’re doing it to make yourself happy. At least that’s why I want a keyboard.

I want to be able to play everyday after coming from work. The sound of a piano is just so pleasant. I think it will ease my mind and have the same effect that meditation has on one’s mind. It will refresh me and calm me down. I just hope the plan doesn’t go haywire. Imagine I completely go berserk about not being able to learn a particular tune and smash everything around me! Not cool.

Anyway, I’m gonna go choose a keyboard. Oh no wait! I’m going to let the keyboard choose me. I’m hoping something Harry Potter-esque happens when I test the right keyboard.

I’m eleven inches long, made of holly and a phoenix feather. I choose you! 

Or should it be

I have 76 keys, 32 notes and I am too big for your room (but I’m not going to have the Dark Lord hunt you down). I choose you! 

Harry Potter

I’m looking forward to it! Will let you guys know which one I picked when I play my first cover ever.

That could take a while.

Good day! :)