Musical Introduction

Hey so for my popular themes in music class I had to submit a paper about my music past present and future. Take a look if you want!

Derrick O’Toole
Honors Communications Media and Film 4th year

My name is Derrick O'Toole. I’m going into my 4th year in Communications Media and Film with an intent to enter the film production industry within the next couple years. Although my career future is hopefully destined in film, music in the bread of my sandwich of life, encompassing everything I do and grounding all my creative motives.

I took music in school starting in grade four with the simple recorder for a year until the following year when I was able to be introduced to the wonderful brass section. Throughout my nine years of musical schooling I descended slowly to the deep dark ranges of the bass clef starting with trumpet heading to euphonium then to trombone and then finally for from grade eleven to OAC on the tuba. Throughout elementary school I was a part of every extra curricular musical ensemble and in high school I was in the senior band for four years. I was extremely lucky to attend Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in London, which under the guidance of Mr. Barry Thompson had one of the best high school Music Programs in South Western Ontario.

Mr. Thompson constantly pushed my musical skills to the limit and shared with me his love of music. It was also during this time that I discovered the joy of percussion instruments, which radically effected how I perceived music. I would focus less and less on melodies, chord progressions, circle of 5th or theory and instead became entranced with drums. I had found my metronome of life and to this day it still clicks steady and true.

What I listened to has changed greatly and has especially exploded exponentially since entering university. Throughout my life my family had had the radio on CBC radio constantly, In fact I can’t think of a time when it was on anything else. Particularly in my childhood CBC radio two brought classical music and jazz to my life. During high school I listened to some mainstream rap like Eminem and Dr. Dre. and 50 cent but never really connected with it like I did when in grade nine I discovered metal. Here was a very rhythmic genre that had so many different complex elements and all ready to take any anger I could throw at it. After an entire year of listening to exclusively System of a Down a friend of mine showed me some a genre of metal that rocked me to the core. Progressive Metal.

Within progressive metal I found the heaviness and anger of metal but the improvisation and musicality of classical music and jazz. Bands such  as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Rush, Between the Burried and Me, Into Eternity, Gojira, Mastodon and Opeth, were gods to me. Here were smart creative people from all around the world creating smart music for enlightened people to digest. These bands made my senior years high school happy and content and I thought I had found the ultimate type of music to last me my life. But then I grew up, graduated and went to the university of Windsor

Entering university in Windsor meant for me moving away from home and becoming a man. Surrounded by hundreds of intelligent people with creative voices and amazing music again my eyes dilated as I was exposed so more amazing music. Now was truly the time when my hate for other genres disappeared and I began to respect any good musician. The opposite of my heavy progressive metal I found great solace in ambient, and post rock. Brian Eno and Herrold Budd played tones of calm for me and post rock bands like This Will Destroy You, Explosions in the Sky and God is an Astronaut took me on fantastic journeys through meadows and streets in my mind and expanded my imagination far beyond.

Today I am an open vessel ready to absorb and appreciate any great music. Im taking this class to hopefully begin to be able to articulate better how music affects me and how I feel playing and listening to it. Although several of the core concepts may already be known I have learned its not the destination that is important it’s the journey there. I’m excited for this class and the journey we are all going to take. 


Pappa Püllï said...

Nice introduction! Keep on blogging, really nice!

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