Why we need biodiversity in music
The Edge Effect
“In ecology, edge effects refer to the changes in population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two habitats. Areas with small habitat fragments exhibit especially pronounced edge effects that may extend throughout the range. As the edge effects increase, the boundary habitat allows for greater biodiversity.”
To cross borders is to discover, to discover is to learn, to learn is to develop, to develop is to create, and to create is a magical experience. It all starts with crossing borders, coming out that comfort zone, where new worlds of inspiration can unfold.
Let’s talk about the biodiversity in music.
Music isn’t about which genre is being played, it’s about how you feel when hearing it.
This can be many feelings such as enjoyment, sadness, fear,… (yes, people do actually enjoy the feelings of those two last emotions, think of woman that love romantic dramas or the people that get excited by watching a horror film). I get the irony of referring to movie genres, but point is that we shouldn’t categorize our whole life but rather experience it more.
It isn’t about one country, it is one world. It isn’t about a music genre, it is about the cohesion of sound. I like a world where those borders can be surpassed. Borders are artificial, made by men who needed a structure to operate within.
People tend to be afraid of things they don’t know (read: new happenings). That’s why some changes (like new ideas, new laws, different cultures that enter their habitat, etc.) in their lives are doomed to fail even before they occur. But you could also look at it from a different perspective.
What if people would be eager to be surprised, open to changes and new happenings? I’m not claiming that everything new or changing is always for the better, but without being open for that possibility, it will inevitably fail. This is a pitty. For me, that is where the world starts to brighten and transforms into an exciting and beautiful place.
Being open is not simple, because we all naturally seek for some kind of consistency and security. I have to train myself everyday to be as open as possible, and I do this because I know the exciting experience of discovering new beautiful things when I do practise this. Don’t take my word for it — as you shouldn’t do with anyone, just observe, listen, process and construct your own opinion — but I kindly invite you to try it. Try it with new people, with new ideas, with new music and so on. Sometimes you don’t agree completely, but then you might like some aspects of it, and it is those isolated aspects I want to talk about now.
Intrinsic common ground
This is how I experience music. For example, I enjoy the amazing energy you will find in Metal, an energy wich can be also found in some Jazz, Funk and Latin. I like the beauty of sound and nuance in Classical, a factor I also immensely enjoy in the playing of Cool Jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond, who has the most pure and elegant sound I’ve heard so far. Asked about the secret of his sound he replied “I truely don’t know why I sound like a dry Martini”.
These are just a few examples, but the bottom line is: seek for common ground. This might seem contradictive with the “be open for new things”, but the difference here is that you might want to look for intrinsic common ground.
Genre: Metal + Jazz + Funk + Metal Intrinsic common ground= Energy
Genre: Classical + Cool Jazz Intrinsic common ground= Sound & nuance
You might want to seek for the abstract ways you enjoy music and look if you can find those somewhere else. I don’t like most Pop music, — at least, the Pop that is forced upon our ears that burst out of the radio channels — but I certainly did hear some Pop bands where I enjoyed a tremendous amount of energy in their music (thanks to Netsky for that, or Sting in the 80’s).
A little exercise
I give you one little thing you might want to practise from now on, one little thing that might seem easy, but once you start with it, you’ll notice it will need some thinking and good will.
“Try to think of one GOOD aspect of whatever you come by during the day. “
This can be a person, music, buildings, places, … And oh yes, also your biggest enemies/dislikes. I would even say, especially your enemies, or the things you tend to avoid because you don’t like them. Revisit those things, without biases, and try to say something positive about it.
We all have biases. This can be one of our biggest enemies to restrain us from potential greater experiences. The thing with a bias is that it is mostly so deep rooted that you almost don’t notice it is a bias. But that is the topic for a next article. :)