Sat | Mar 25, 2017

Music moves me

Published:Tuesday | August 5, 2014 | 8:00 AM

Patria-Kaye Aarons

Music is God's greatest gift to me. It nourishes my soul. For every emotion I have felt in this life, I can find the perfect song that relates. Music makes me happy, makes me feel more in love, makes me want to love, moves me to be angry. Embedded in music are my memories; and no single thing or being has such power over me, and I suspect none ever will.

I am very attuned to the sound of good music. Beautiful harmonies and interesting dischords I hear in my heart. It's a passion I can't explain and don't think I need to. Like love, without reason or elaborately articulated cause, music is just beautiful, and I always trust where it takes me.

Now, I can't very well sing the praises of music without celebrating the wonders of the musician.

Respect due to lead singers everywhere. You, for most, are the reason people enjoy the show. Your flair, presence and perfect pitch are, for the average audience member, the main course. But I'm an appetiser kinda girl. I love the sound of a great voice, but my love is far more intense for the understated men and women with whom the lead singer shares the stage: the band.

It takes a certain kind of strength of character to be a member of the backing band. There's a profound genuineness about such people. Musicians do what they love, despite getting little recognition for it. It must take a heck of a lot of sensitivity to follow a lead singer. To be so attentive and in tune that you change the key when he goes off, or play an extra bar because he's ad-libbed longer than rehearsed. It calls for a very unselfish countenance, and the man confident and content enough to play his heart out so that someone else can sound good has the biggest heart I can imagine.

There's also something very sexy about musicians. Their hands - weathered and rehearsed and nimble and strong. Their emotions - their ability to feel and make you feel too. Lost inhibitions, dynamism, control and rhythm.

Take the bass guitarist. His importance, though often overlooked, is never lost on me. Next time you watch a band play live, forget the charisma of the lead singer and the flash of the back-up dancers only for a second, and take time to appreciate the bass guitarist. He stays in the background keeping the entire band grounded with his steady rhythm. His bass line has body, presence, consistency, gumption, and my fantasy is that those are the mettle of that man. With every note he plays, his body moves in perfect time with his instrument. And at that point where there's nothing but him and his guitar and the sound it makes, he closes his eyes. Sexy.

Happy musicians

Keyboard players are happy people. They always have a running private joke that causes them to laugh out loud mid-performance. And if you watch them play, in those moments when they laugh, the happy is infectious. There's also just something that feels like magic when the keyboardist plays and doesn't have to look down on his instrument. A kind of musical 'look, Ma; no hands', I know this keyboard so well I can play it without looking 'ta-da'.

And then there's the drummer, and his steady hands. Drummers (in fact, all percussionists), I assume, are people I would trust. One of my favourite people to dance with is a drummer, and I close my eyes and dance with him without the hint of fear, because I trust that he will lead me. At that trap set is the seat of power. You set the pace of the performance, and you are in control. It takes a real man to be a drummer.

I say thank you to every musician: those behind the mike and those behind them. Your commitment to your craft has made my life that much better. Long live music - and all the beautiful musicians that make it happen.

Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and findpatria@yahoo.com or tweet @findpatria.