I will admit to having a strong preference for a very specific type of music (“we want the funk”) but music is music and music is a language that crosses imaginary boundaries. One thing that I like about “The Voice” is that it shows musical icons loving, supporting and participating in music outside their own genres. This morning, researching background for an article I’m writing, I came upon an interview with Melanie Safka (“Candles in the Rain”, “Beautiful People”).
The singer/songwriter recalls spending nine hours sitting next to Jimi Hendrix on a flight from London to New York. She describes him as soft-spoken, laid back and unperturbed by some businessmen passengers who were trying to hippie-bait them. Utterly disinterested in an “us-versus-them” mentality, he preferred to talk music with his seatmate. “I was the one who was really getting upset with these guys,” she said, ” but he was very cool. At one point I remember we somehow got on the subject of Appalachian music and he said he was really influenced by Appalachian music. You can really tell that in his chord progressions.”
Let’s hear it for music! Like love, art, and friendship, it crosses imaginary boundaries. And in so doing, it helps us affirm peace through respect, acceptance and recognition of the beauty within “the others” as well as within ourselves.