2017 has been shit in a lot of ways, but not with regards to music.
I’ve always considered myself rather modest and minimal when it comes to my consumption of music.
True, I have music playing from almost the moment I wake each day until about half an hour after I close my eyes for bed. Every night, I listen in the dark to a sleep mix I’ve created to help lull me off to dreamland.
Tori Amos in concert in Vancouver, July 2014.
How do you choose a favourite song from an artist who’s been recording for over 20 years?
I own every studio release that Tori Amos has produced. I can’t say I love all her albums equally, but as she is my “life soundtrack musician” – the artist whose music has played in the background of most of my life, scoring every major turning point and encoding my memories such – I’ve been able to find something to love about all of them.
Which doesn’t make picking a favourite song any easier.
(Neither does the fact that she’s also recorded at least 100 B-sides/non-album tracks, both original tunes and some amazing covers. And that her sound is constantly evolving, covering everything from pop piano ballads, rock, electronica, gospel, cutesy piano ditties, classical, and even musical theatre.)
Anyone who considers him-/herself a music lover probably has what I like to call a “life musician”.
I have two:
- The nu metal, rap-rock group Linkin Park
- Alt-rock singer-songwriter and pianist Tori Amos.
At first glance, there probably doesn’t seem to be much these two musical acts have in common, and I supposed they don’t save for what they both mean to me.
As my life musicians, my fondness for them runs far deeper than for an artist whose music I happen to fancy. Or the singer of that current earworm I can’t get out of my head.
Rather, my life musicians are the singers whose music has played in the background of most of my life, scoring every major phase to the point that my memories of those times have become encoded in tunes themselves.