Music Geekery – Tea Party Style

Music Fangirl Confession #1:  Soooo there’s this thing that happens when someone who loves music, is slightly obsessive, and has good research skills, goes to see her ultimate Rock Gods live… the euphoria from the shows is mind blowing and the research / obsessive skills take over to find ways to help relive those emotions for days after the shows…

In years past, for me this amounted to listening to pretty much nothing but the CDs and videos of the Rock God(s) in question for days on end, until sanity sank back in.  These days, searching for Rock Gods is soooo much easier, thank you Internet, Facebook, and YouTube. Seriously, I don’t even have to do much ‘research’ myself anymore – clips from concerts, interviews, music videos etc. just magically appear in my Facebook feed all the time… Sometimes, the Rock Gods themselves (or their wonderful staff) post them on their own pages; sometimes other slightly obsessive fans find and post their favourite clips on fan group sites. Boom – instant gratification on my feed, hello more euphoria.  And once you’ve clicked on one YouTube video, there’s this lovely feed on the side that says “Hey – here’s even more videos of your Rock God – Enjoy!  Who needs to adult today anyways!!??”  Can’t watch them now?  Save them for later!! (Technology is so awesome!)

And so today I went to catch up on the Facebook posts I saved over the week, one of which was the Walking Wounded music video, which was lovely, but over there on the side of YouTube, I see this clip that says Jeff Martin Guitar Workshop – Long and McQuades, Markham, Ont and I think to myself, “Hmm, that sounds cool – let’s watch that… Wait, it’s an hour long? Not sure I have time right now to watch the whole thing, but let’s give it a whirl, see how far I get.”

Holy crap!!! I just can’t even!! I watched the whole thing, mesmerized, unable to tear myself away to make breakfast! And I was starving! And I was watching on a laptop.. a portable laptop… If you have any interest in playing guitar… or guitar players… (or of course, the Tea Party / Jeff Martin), you have to watch this video! If you geek out over music, you have to watch this video 😀

This is an hour of Jeff Martin at Long and McQuades music store in Ontario (2013) telling stories of how he first learned the guitar, two chords, at the age of seven; how his mind was blown by the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album at 11 and so on. He walks the small audience through the chords he uses, how he tunes his guitars so they sound like a sitar and other instruments – like, he actually does this while talking about it, you can hear the guitar changing from sounding like a traditional guitar into these beautiful world music sounds. He also shows his electric guitar that tunes itself… crazy – technology is amazing! He also talks about his song-writing process. While doing all of this, he plays and sings songs from his works and of other artists that inspire him and / or use the chords he is demonstrating.

This video is absolutely riveting – it offers that look at the more technical side of music – how to play – as told by someone who is clearly truly gifted and passionate about the guitar, you can just see it radiate through him. My gawd, the man can play and sing like no one else! As previously mentioned, I am not musically inclined at all as far as any ability to play, sing or write; I have the tiniest bit of musical theory from school and I vaguely remember learning how to play the recorder in grade one or so, and that’s it. But music is my soul and I utterly adore watching those that can, play; especially those who are equally technically gifted and passionate in that playing, aka Jeff Martin. I am also a geek at heart and am super curious about the inner workings of music, how songs are written etc. I think a huge part of that fascination is actually because I can’t play an instrument myself or hear my own music in my head – I don’t know how these things work – my brain isn’t geared like that, and I like to know how things work. Its why I am a researcher – don’t know something, look it up, figure it out – that’s how my brain works. But I lack that ability with this thing called music that I love so much and that has such an important impact on my live. This video speaks to that geek and soul at the same time and feeds that thirst for musical knowledge and passion.

Interesting fact we learn in the video: Jeff has synesthesia – the ability to see sound in color.  If you wonder what that may look like, here is an article about an artist with synesthesia who paints songs.  Just beautiful!

And just in case that video wasn’t enough music geekery for you – that darned, enabling, side menu of YouTube also offered this little gem called The Tea Party – The Science Of Rock. It presents another different and fascinating look at part of the music world through the soundscapes of The Tea Party.  This one is a Discovery Channel special that goes through the science of putting on a rock show, during one of the Tea Party’s shows where they played with a symphony orchestra.

Say what now!?! The science of rock featuring my Rock Gods??!! This Hermione was geeking out big time watching this!! It shows how sound engineers work it so the audience can hear all the instruments, rock band and symphony together as one; how they use ‘pink noise;’ what the band members hear during the show; what the lighting engineers do; the science of why we love sad songs; why music is like a drug; and so much more science-y stuff! So super cool! This video resonates with the young teenager in me that wanted to be a recording engineer when I was younger. I even applied for the program at Berklee College of Music in Boston, yep, the one that Quincy Jones went to… if there is anything I know how to do, its to dream big… (I didn’t get in… say it with me now – “no musical ability”…).

This video is seriously music geekery heaven mixed with TTP / JM music fangirl utopia … Yah, both of these videos fit that bill… Thank you, Jeff Bryant, whoever you are, for posting these!

Another interesting fact from this video: Apparently only one in 10,000 people have perfect pitch – Jeff Martin is that one.

OK, OK I’ll stop TTP / JM fangirling now… Just brace yourself, once I get started on U2, there’s no stopping me… well, I suppose there is a summer of many concerts coming up so I can geek out on a number of my Rock Gods!  Until next time!

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