My musical tastes have, like most people’s, changed over the years.
When I was at school, unlike most of the rest of the class, I enjoyed the classical music that was played to us and remember my first performance of Elgar’s Enigma Variations at the Royal Albert Hall at the age of about 12. At about the same time, I was also into the music of The Police and Dire Straits. A couple of years later I remember describing my musical tastes as ‘everything except classical and heavy metal’.
So it only follows that when I left school, the group of friends I used to hang out with were into rock / heavy metal and so I found that I did actually enjoy it. One of the group was also into classical music, or to be more accurate anything by Beethoven. I got into the band Magnum, no that’s not quite correct, I was obsessed with them and would get tickets to see them several times on each tour. I also had to get every record in every version that they had released, which led me to be a regular visitor to record fairs. While at one record fair, I picked up a copy of Mahler’s 2nd symphony and found that it really hit a chord, no pun intended. So now I was into both heavy metal and Mahler at the same time and it wasn’t a contradiction.
I used to listen to BBC Radio 1 on the car radio, until I changed my car about 10 years ago and the radio was tuned to Classic FM and I remembered that I liked classical music. The car has since changed, but the radio station has remained. Before the Christmas of 1997, Classic FM started playing the single Salva Nos by the group Mediaeval Baebes and I found it really different and enjoyable. At the time it was a group of 12 women singing ancient songs. I have since seen them at both Joust 2005 and last year at Joust 2006.
I won a copy of Diana Krall’s album The Girl in the Other Room in a competition on Classic FM’s website in 2004 and now enjoy a more jazzy selection including Norah Jones, Katie Melua, Madeleine Peyroux and Amy Winehouse. I have always enjoyed the music of Sting, who late last year released the album Songs from the Labyrinth featuring the songs of John Dowland, an Elizabethan composer.
So all in all, I think I have a fairly broad musical taste and it seems to be broadening as time goes by.