Music to suit the weather...

Music to suit the weather...
Authored By John Nicholson
It’s lovely and sunny and warm and there are blackbirds and thrushes singing joyfully against the bluest of skies. Birds are everywhere. We have a large garden front and back, now somewhat overgrown because I can’t do anything, but it is full of flowers and buzzing with bees.

I’m sitting in the long back garden, at the end of which is woodland, listening to music on one of our Alexa’s. Dawn’s art studio in the garden has got so hot it’s unbearable. But it’s funny how different music sounds outdoors. Some is improved. Blue Sky by the Allmans soars and seems to suit the weather, yet Solid Air by John Martyn doesn’t. That seems to benefit from a closed space. Frank Zappa’s solo guitar on the Hot Rats album works well outdoors as does The Song Remains The Same. But ambient music like Tangerine Dreams Ricochet, and even ELP’s Tarkus don’t. Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape live by Be Bop Deluxe is superb, blasting out over the greenery, those elegant runs of lead guitar just sing to the sky.

It’s such a different experience listening outdoors. I recall renting a house in the summer in Palm Springs. It was hotter than hell. 110 degrees by noon. But at 7am it was a lovely 60 degrees. We used to have breakfast in the pool, eating patatas bravas in the gathering heat playing Santana’s jazz-fusion albums. It seemed like paradise, the music and food seemed as one with the environment.

I’m convinced that growing up in the industrial northeast is one of the reasons I loved noisy music. The likes of Deep Purple worked so well in a rainy industrial area. I know heavy metal’s popularity in industrial cities is often attributed to the fact the music mirrored the sounds of industry. I don’t know if that’s true really but it is noticeable how popular heavy rock is popular in Newcastle in the northeast but is less so in rural Devon. So maybe where you live does influence what you listen to.

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