Monday, May 16, 2011

The Sound of Music

Music has always been a big part of our family life. When the kids were little, Joe would listen to his funkadelic music, and I would listen to my old '80's tapes, and Emma and her toddler friends has a ton of kiddie music tapes with Raffi and the Sesame Street: In Harmony series being the favorites.

As they got older, I started listening to the radio and picking up some new CD's, and the kids would often be found dancing around me as I did housework, letting me know what songs they liked the best and enjoying the music to the fullest.

When Joe and I separated, I moved to the hood, and we discovered the joy that is hip-hop with its always dance-able beat and humorous lyrics, and the songs of the neighborhood became our family's anthem for joy in the midst of hardship and play in the midst of chaos. When I met Diana, we bonded over those same anthems. I once joked that Diana and I could never break up because it would just be too weird to be bursting into tears at the sound of Get Low by Lil Jon or Tipsy by J-Kwon.

As Em became a teen, she embraced all things pop culture, twisting and turning them and rocking them into something that was completely her own. We listened to Britney Spears so often that we developed a southern accent. Bedroom walls were adorned with Mary-Kate & Ashley, Lindsay Lohan, and N'sync. I still had my own favorites to listen to such as Evanescence and Smash Mouth, and the beat of the hood was always underneath filling out the soundtrack of our lives.

Now we are here in the country with a new crop of teens listening to music that they love. This would be K-pop and J-pop and touhou and C-pop. It is a bit further from my preferred tunes, but not disliked by me either. I am happy to have been exposed to pop music from around the world by these people who I love and share my life with.

Our big music tradition of the moment is to create a family CD for each season. We load it with mp3's so we fit a lot of music on those CD's. Listening to past CD's can evoke the feelings we had during events and road trips associated with that season. We are currently trying to whittle down our list to 80 or so songs for a Shine CD. The variety of music is awesome!

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