Do you love music? I do. It is hard for me to say why exactly, but it makes me happy. It is not just one genre, I love music of every kind, from Handel’s Messiah to Four Seasons by Vivaldi to Elton John’s Rocket Man to Elvis and You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound-dog. I love it all.
Some artists are better than others. Of course this is all highly subjective and each of us has our own perspective as to who is the best. For me, it depends on how I feel at the time. Sometimes I want to rock, and other times I want to listen and simply hear storytelling in my music.
The late, great Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole is one of my personal favorites. I am sure that many will have never heard his name before, but I have little doubt that you have heard his music. His songs are used in many movies and television shows, often as a background to the rolling of the closing credits.
Along with his extraordinary ukulele playing, yes, I said ukulele, he gifted the world with his incorporation of other genres, such as jazz and reggae; Kamakawiwoʻole legacy continues and he remains influential in Hawaiian music. Have a listen and tell me if you have heard his songs before, here is a sample of one of the best male voices recorded.
Kamakawiwoʻole’s recording of “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” gained notice in 1999 when an excerpt was used in the TV commercials for eToys.com (later part of Toys “R” Us). The full song was featured in the movies K-Pax, Meet Joe Black, Finding Forrester, Son of the Mask, 50 First Dates, Fred Claus, Letters to Santa and IMAX: Hubble 3D. It was also featured in TV series ER, American Dad!, Scrubs, Cold Case, Glee, South Pacific, Lost, Storm Chasers, and in the UK original version of Life on Mars among others.
Music that soars is best for me. I enjoy the crisp, clear, soaring vocals of Adele, John Lennon, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, and of course, Queen. Michael Jackson, U2, The Eurythmics, The Eagles, Judy Garland, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Marley, Jeff Buckley, The Police, Sam Cooke, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, and Pink all make me feel good – very good indeed.
Obviously, I am showing my age by my music choices.
But, that is not too surprising as music is so defining of one’s own life. Within music, it has the power to isolate us and permits us to be individuals. To stand as a solitary person, even when we are lost in the crowd. So, music is a uniquely individual taste.
One song from Joe Cocker for example, You are So Beautiful, instantaneously transports my mind back in time to my high school prom, and I can vividly recall dancing with my first love. That song and that experience are permanently connected to each other.
Another song, Sailing, by Christopher Cross takes me to my days voyaging single-handed in my C&C 35 sailboat around Lake Ontario with the sun’s glorious warmth flushing my face whilst the wind billows the spinnaker and fills the mainsail to capacity, testing the main sheets to their limits.
Music connects us to our life. It is interwoven into the fabric of our times.
During my years, I have seen many technologies come to pass as a means to share music or to make it portable so we can carry its magic along with us wherever we journey.
LPs or Long Playing records were first with 78, 33 & 1/3, and 45 RPM. The size and the capacity of the LPs shaped how we enjoyed the songs of our lives.
Next came cassette tapes that permitted the recording of songs and allowed the assembly of a mix tape, to be shared with others to tell our stories of who we are and how we see the world – through music.
The Sony Walkman revolutionized the cassette tape as a truly portable medium along with the first on-ear headphones to enrich the personalized music experience.
The Compact Disc or CD followed and gave us pristine sounds from rich digital recordings pushing past the hissing, scratchy distortions of records and tapes. The clarity and dynamic range from this early digital audio format set the stage for what was yet to come.
Once music was properly digitized, it simply needed a new delivery format, and the Apple iPod was born. The idea that you could carry 10,000 songs on your person and instantly access whatever tune you desired in mere seconds was astonishing for its time.
Napster changed the course of music once again by providing online access to massive libraries for free. The death of the record store soon followed, and the lawyers took two years to kill Napster, but the course had been set and now services that delivered songs for 1 or 2 pennies to less then $1.00 are now everywhere, from iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Sirius XM, Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, and more.
How and where we get our music seems to change every 10 to 20 years. So, it is exciting to imagine what will be next?
All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it. Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die. Music is the fourth great material want, first food, then clothes, then shelter, then music.
About the Author:
Michael Martin has more than 35 years of experience in systems design for broadband networks, optical fibre, wireless, and digital communications technologies.
He is a business and technology consultant. He is employed by Wirepas Oy from Tampere, Finland as the Director of Business Development. Over the past 15 years with IBM, he has worked in the GBS Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities and the GTS Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He is a founding partner and President of MICAN Communications and before that was President of Comlink Systems Limited and Ensat Broadcast Services, Inc., both divisions of Cygnal Technologies Corporation (CYN: TSX).
Martin currently serves on the Board of Directors for TeraGo Inc (TGO: TSX) and previously served on the Board of Directors for Avante Logixx Inc. (XX: TSX.V).
He has served as a Member, SCC ISO-IEC JTC 1/SC-41 – Internet of Things and related technologies, ISO – International Organization for Standardization, and as a member of the NIST SP 500-325 Fog Computing Conceptual Model, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
He served on the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) [now OntarioTech University] and on the Board of Advisers of five different Colleges in Ontario. For 16 years he served on the Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Toronto Section.
He holds three master’s degrees, in business (MBA), communication (MA), and education (MEd). As well, he has three undergraduate diplomas and five certifications in business, computer programming, internetworking, project management, media, photography, and communication technology. He has earned 15 badges in next generation MOOC continuous education in IoT, Cloud, AI and Cognitive systems, Blockchain, Agile, Big Data, Design Thinking, Security, and more.