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me & my music memories

You, know, I thought I’d already covered music. But apparently not. So here it is, my explanation (of sorts), of my love … affinity … gravitation … toward and with music.

I’m not a genre buff per se. If I had to pick one it would have to be R&B … which is pretty wide.

But my love of music probably happened before I was even birthed lol. My Nan would sing to Me when I was little, and I actually remember some of those songs :)

Her and I would watch old movies with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds …  She also loved classical and operatic music. My Nan is where my love of Dance was nurtured <3

As I got older I was more influenced by Christian / Pentecostal ‘worship’ music, but absolutely loved Black Gospel. Theres nothing quite like the old Gospel.

My mother was / is a musician and still plays the guitar. When I was growing up I remember her music and her guitaring. She’d listen to ‘folk’ type music, like Peter, Paul and Mary … Simon and Garfunkel. Now whilst that wasn’t exactly my favourite, I guess it influenced what I was drawn too.

Because we were raised ‘Christian’, we weren’t allowed to listen to what was deemed ‘mainstream’ music. That didn’t stop Me, obviously, and made the listening to the ‘forbidden’ that much sweeter.

I’d find old cassette tapes and tape the songs that would come on the radio, as quickly as I could, before my mother got out of the shower, or returned from the supermarket lol. I kept those tapes tucked away and would listen to them when my mother was out or we went to my Grandparents. I was influenced by your mainstream ‘pop’ at the time, (the 80s), and because I was a dancer, that type of music also influenced my overall love of music.

Another great music memory for Me, is my Grandfather. I’d go to work with him when I was at their house for the holidays. This is something I absolutely loved. It is one of the few memories that I’ve clung on to over the years. It’s where my love for building and concrete and making things, comes from. And during these ‘work sessions’ with my Grandfather, he’d listen to the local radio station. I got to hear all the new songs and radio being what it is, they’d play the songs over and over, which meant I got to learn all the words :)

By the time my first daughter was born, I’d sing to her. It’s also one of the best memories I have of an extremely stressful, sad time – holding her, and rocking her and singing her to sleep.

I did the same when my second baby girl was born too, and she had the same reaction. She’d go all limp and relaxed, look at Me as I’d sing to her; smile and then go to sleep :)

And as the years went on, I was influenced by Country and Western, Heavy Metal, Rock, Jazz, Soul, Blues, Hip Hop, Underground, Thrash, D&B, House, Dub, Reggae, Ska … the list goes on. The first 2 were never my favourite genres but they still added to my ‘taste’.

I guess music has always been with Me.

It eases Me in ways I can’t explain. It helps Me to vent, focus, re focus … and as I’ve moved throughout the years, I’ve figured out what ‘does it for Me’. I’m drawn to the eerie minor keys and tones and those come in all genres. I’m not particularly drawn to lyrics as is the ‘norm’; but instead am drawn to ‘the feel’ or the ‘atmosphere’ that a piece of music gives.

It’s not something I could live without I don’t think. Although I have sensitive little ears lol, I think of all the ‘disabilities’ I wouldn’t want … the loss of hearing would be the hardest.

For Me, music holds some of my best memories I’ve got <3


kpm©

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chaka khans, aint nobody [cover]

chaka khan’s ‘aint nobody’ <3

when we sing

I used to cry every time I heard my girl sing. It became, and still is really, a long-standing joke for them now…little shits. But there is something that happens for every Mama I think, when you see or hear, the essence of your children. I don’t just mean those typical proud moments…when they walk, they go to school, they’re in a school play, they get an award…those proud moments. I mean those things, that they don’t see you see…the things that you watch, grin at, laugh at…cry at.

Well, when my girl sings, performs, I howl like a little bitch lol. Some if it is because she sings in our native language …which none of us, in our family, speak fluently. I won’t go into the colonial ramble at the moment…but needless to say, our language was one of the first things the colonialist shredded from our culture. There has been a huge revitalization over the past 20 plus years, but it’s not a journey I have started yet. Partially my issues with…not being a ‘real Maori’…being to white…being side tracked with a few other fucked up issues throughout the years.

But I knew enough, by the time my children were with me again, to put my girls in a bilingual school. Which meant they were able to be part of their language and culture without feeling like it was foreign. My eldest embraced it. My youngest, embraced it and strangled the shit out of it!

There is something ancient that I feel when I hear the rawness of what is/was ours, as first nation people’s. And hearing it come from my girls, is beyond amazing. Then there’s the singing side of it. I love music. I love nearly all music; I possibly have a bit of trouble with death metal and classical…but I can appreciate the lyrics of the first and the minor keys of the latter. Overall though, if it touches my soul; makes my toes tap; makes the hips swing or the head nod…I’ll listen over and over. And for me, a lot of my memories are attached to music. I might not remember a year; a date; a particular event in the sequence that it took place; but I can tell you where I was when I heard a particular song; what I felt like; what was happening around me…I love my music. It soothes me.

And when my girl sings in our old language, I cry…I unashamedly cry. Not unhappy tears…just proud, soul wrenching, loving, beautiful Mama tears.

I thought I didn’t have anything to do with her singing…I wouldn’t describe my own voice as Mariah Carey’s soul sister or anything. But, I love music…and I’d forgotten, till my recent unfolding, that I sang to them all the time. From the time they stepped out of the womb…I sang to them.

I think it was probably my way of showing affection. Touch is not really my thing! At all. I pretty much dislike it a lot, ALOT! But I can convey how I feel, about me, to them, when I sing to them. And I love them dearly.

Well, my youngest Moko (grandchild), who is nearly one, has been here all week with her Mama, my youngest girl. And I sing to my Moko all the time too…and she loves it. It’s the first time I’ve really recognized that the babies, my babies, respond to it. And this little Moko midget is just beautiful…she sits on my lap, waves her hands in the air, turns out her palms and looks at me. I say to her…’do you want me to sing your song?’, and she claps her hands. So we sing…she does the actions and then laughs.

Watching her, and my daughter, through the week, I realized how much I’ve impacted positively on my gene pool lol! I have been so scared of damaging them all…only to discover that they love and get how I love them.


kpm ©