I’m not gonna lie – I was SO excited when Victoria Grace Howell nominated me for this blog tag (thank you, Tori!) that this was my reaction.
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration… But music is one of my many loves in life, along with writing, books, and tea. So if you’re a music fan as well, fair warning: This post features YouTube videos. It also features links to more YouTube videos. I tried not to go overboard… but you still might be here a while. 😉
First, like any blog tag, let’s start with…
The Rules of The Music Tag
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their post.
- Answer the fourteen questions listed in this post.
- For any questions where you choose to share YouTube videos, try to stick to one (1) embedded video to avoid overwhelming readers. Feel free to add links to additional videos directly in the text.
- Nominate at least three (3) bloggers for this tag.
Ready? Here Are the Questions – and My Answers!
#1: Do you like listening to music?
Of course I do! 😉
#2: What song(s) have you been listening to lately?
“Blackout” by Autumn: Autumn has been one of my favorite bands for a long, long time. They’re from The Netherlands, and they play a melodic, atmospheric brand of progressive rock with metal influences. “Blackout” (see the YouTube clip above) is one of their newest songs after a 2-year hiatus, and I love how it maintains their signature sound while adding some new elements. Can’t wait for the full album!
“Whale Dreaming” by Kamal: One of the tracks from Kamal’s Reiki Whale Song. It takes authentic recordings of humpback whales and blends them with soft synthesizers and flutes. Not only is it soothing and relaxing, but it’s also beautifully unique. Plus, whales. ❤
“Stand My Ground” by Within Temptation: I’ve been in the mood for empowering music lately. This symphonic metal classic by Within Temptation is no exception.
“Dragonstone” by Ramin Djiwadi: I’ve been on a Game of Thrones soundtrack kick ever since last month’s GoT Live Concert Experience. This is one of my favorite tracks from Season 7, for the scene when Daenerys arrives at Dragonstone.
#3: What is your favorite genre of music?
I don’t know if I have a favorite genre. If you scroll through my iPod, you’ll find rock, metal, singer-songwriter pop/rock, film soundtracks, classical crossover, and ambient instrumentals – and I love them all equally. If any one genre or artist is in heavy rotation, it’s because a) it’s a brand new album (I like listening to new albums on repeat for a while), b) I’m going to a concert featuring that artist soon, or c) it fits my mood at that moment.
#4: What is your favorite song?
B-b-b-but I have multiple favorite songs! I can’t just choose one! XD
OK, here are a few of those favorites off the top of my head:
- “A Simple Mistake” by Anathema (see YouTube clip above) (progressive rock)
- “Beyond the Matrix” by Epica (symphonic metal)
- “February Song” by Josh Groban (classical crossover)
- “Twisted Coil” by Guilt Machine (progressive metal)
- “Windows” by Amanda Somerville (singer-songwriter pop/rock)
#5: What is your favorite instrument?
Maybe the piano? Or the electric guitar? Or an entire orchestra? (Is that last one cheating?) It’s tough to choose. Every instrument sounds incredible and has the potential to take your breath away. I love certain guitar solos just as much as I love certain piano / string arrangements. I guess it depends on my mood, much like it does with my favorite genres.
#6: Do you play an instrument? If not, what instrument would you play if you could?
I wish I could play an instrument! I learned to play a little bit of guitar and drums during high school music class. But that was… a very long time ago. 😉
If I did play an instrument, I would play… my voice. In other words, I’d sing. I’m not cheating again, am I? A voice is an instrument, to a degree, and has its own aesthetic qualities. So I’d love to sing, and also write lyrics and compose the melodies. Too bad I never took any formal voice lessons…
#7: What kind of radio do you prefer to listen to?
None, to be honest. I haven’t listened to music radio stations in YYYEEEAAARRRSSS. Most of them don’t play the kind of music I want to hear. So I stick to my iPod, which I can easily plug into my car with a USB cable.
#8: What kind of apps or PC programs do you use for listening to music?
iTunes (for listening to my own music library) and YouTube (when searching for music I don’t own). I had a Spotify account at one point, but I locked myself out the day after joining it. XD
#9: Do you like making music? Which software do you use for composing / creating music?
Can I tell you guys one of my secret dreams? I’d love to write songs someday. 😮 Seriously! Though I’d be limited to lyrics only, since I don’t play any instruments. So I’d need a collaborator, someone who would compose the music.
But at the moment? No, I don’t make music. (*sad sniffles*)
#10: Are there songs that remind you of people you know?
“Memories” by Within Temptation: I first heard “Memories” (see the YouTube clip above) the day before my paternal grandmother passed away. Thirteen years later, I still think of her whenever I hear it.
“Still” by Avariel: I met this Boston-based symphonic metal band back in 2010, the year their only album came out. (They split up amicably in 2012.) Now I count two of Avariel’s former members among my best friends. In fact, they’re the ones I refer to as Musician Friends. 😉 So of course I think of them when I listen to any of their songs.
“Gone Gone Gone” by Phillip Phillips: Whenever I hear a Phillip Phillips song, I think of Yoga Friend. She’s a HUUUUGE fan of his music, and she’s also responsible for my being a fan of it. Back when Phillip was touring for his first album The World from the Side of the Moon, Yoga Friend asked if I’d go with her to one of his shows. What a fantastic “yes” that turned out to be. Phillip’s enthusiasm, talent, and chemistry with his bandmates made his relatively short set (he was opening for John Mayer, so he was only onstage for 30 minutes) one to remember.
#11: Are there songs that make you think of a color?
Not really. With certain songs, I might see flashes of images or scenes that relate to the lyrics or the tone conveyed by the music. But I can’t think of any songs that I associate with colors.
#12: Are there songs that evoke a particular emotion in you?
Anathema’s Weather Systems: I might as well put the whole album here. This was my musical savior during a period of situational depression several years ago. Depending on the song, sometimes I felt joy (“Lightning Song,” “Sunlight”) and other times despair (“The Beginning and the End,” in the YouTube clip above). I still experience that rollercoaster whenever I listen to Weather Systems, though now it’s with a sense of gratitude for having moved on from that time.
“Hometown Glory” by Adele: This song took on new meaning for me after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. It’s probably because I put this song on repeat while writing and revising my poem “Elegy.” (You can read more about that here.) Today, it’s difficult to name the emotion I feel when I listen to it… but it always brings me close to tears.
“Primavera” by Ludovico Einaudi: On a completely different note, this gorgeous piano-orchestra track gives me thrills of euphoria every time. ❤
“Master of Tides” by Lindsey Stirling: Another of my “happy songs.” Just listen to Lindsey’s violin-playing!
#13: What two genres of music are your least favorites? Why?
Country music and hip hop / rap. The style of music and the subject matter of the lyrics in both genres never really appealed to me. I do like a couple country and hip hop / rap songs, but that’s about it.
#14: What songs would make up the OST (original soundtrack) of your life?
Oh dear. How many songs am I allowed to choose? XD I’ll list a few that would appear:
“To the Moon and Back” by Savage Garden: My favorite song when I was a teen (see the YouTube clip above). I’d been mostly a “vocals and lyrics” fan up to that point, but TTMAB showed me just how powerful and beautiful the music itself can be. Plus, I felt like the lyrics had been written just for me at that time. That’s how much I could relate to them.
“My Immortal” by Evanescence: Their music might not be true symphonic metal (I’d describe it more as symphonic alternative rock), but Evanescence was my “gateway band” for that genre and all the other heavy music I’d become a fan of later on.
“Your Halo” by The Mariana Hollow: A London-based alternative rock band, and one of my favorite discoveries from my music-reviewing days at Sonic Cathedral. After listening to songs from their debut album, I was so disappointed that I’d missed out on the chance to review it (one of my colleagues volunteered before I could) that I asked to interview the band instead. We struck up a friendship after that, so of course they deserve a place on my OST.
“Ancient Stones” by Jeremy Soule: No, I’ve never played the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim video game. But yes, I own the soundtrack. Thank you, YouTube, for introducing us. ❤ I think of Iceland whenever I listen to songs from this soundtrack. And, um, this song might be my ringtone right now. (*blushes*)
Nominations for The Music Tag
Let’s see. Who haven’t I nominated for a blog tag for a while? I’m pretty sure these blogger friends are also music lovers, so here are my choices:
- Candace @ Legends and Roses
- Rebekah Hendrian @ Wordsmithing and Worldbuilding
- Anyone else who’s a music fan! 🙂
Are you a music lover, too? Who are some of your favorite singers, bands, etc.? How about favorite genres? Are you a fan of any of the songs, bands, or artists mentioned in this post?