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Author: Joe

Dollywood changed me

Dollywood changed me

I used to think that I didn’t like country music.  All those twangy vocals and common chord structures.  Plus the lyrics often seemed comical.  Just think of the Loretta Lynn song titled “You’re the reason our kids are ugly”.  Or how about the lyrics in this George Strait song: “She tells her friends I’m perfect
and that I love her cat, but you know me better than that.”   To my mind, this was all hokie.

Then last week I went on vacation to Dollywood.

First of all, I learned that Dolly Parton is an amazing person.  She is kind and so generous.  And such an upbeat person, having worked her way through poverty to become a top star.

While at Dolly wood, we went to some of the shows.  Several members of her family sang there.  It was quite fun.  But then, I started to listen closer to the words of her songs.  She wrote about family, growing up, faith in your spiritual belief system, loving the beauty throughout nature, and appreciation of home.  Once I got into it, the experience was moving.  Country music showed itself as much more than just simple strumming and funny messages.  It was an entire world of experiences, from the silly and banal, to the deep and sentimental.

Yes, Dollywood changed me.  Like so many other genres, I learned that country music is cool, too.  I even like that twang.

A journey of discovery

A journey of discovery

As a species, humans have several traits that drive us towards a deeper appreciation of our world.  Two of them form the underlying canvas of many of our lives.  They are Curiosity and Creativity.


Thanks to curiosity, we are driven to continually learn.  As a result, we study everything;  from the physiology of muscle action, to the social mating behavior of bees, and deep into the origin of the universe.


Another major trait is the desire to create.  There is something built into our nature where we need to bear fruit from our ideas and imagination.  As a result, we have inventions like television and pogo sticks.  We have games like chess and Pac Man.  We have foods like Eggs Benedict and smoked barbecue spareribs.


Now think about our 5 primary senses.  Even with those, we are curious and creative.  For the sense of vision, we study light and colors.  We create magnificent works of art.  For the senses of taste and smell, we study how flavors mingle.  We create memorable culinary feasts. For the sense of touch, we study textures.  We create fascinating fabrics.  And finally, we come to the sense of sound.  With that, we study words and meaning.  We create inspiring oratory and transcendental poetry.  We study the interaction of audio waves in a concert hall.  We create music.

I love sounds.  The sound of a pin dropping has an esthetic appeal, as it briefly tingles its vibrations.  The cacophony of geese cackling madly is a music of its own.  Blowing a tone through an empty Coke bottle is a pleasing hum.  Now combine the wide variety of tonal textures into melody and rhythm.  That is heavenly.

These blogs are devoted to sound; specifically sound made into music.  I am learning about the process.  While learning,  I create pieces.  They can be in any style: classical, grunge, folk, calypso … whatever strikes me to learn and create.  In these adventures, I would like to share my discoveries with you.

My current focus has been to surround myself with realistically sounding, digitally created music.  So far, I worked with some digital audio workstations, specifically GarageBand and Cubase.  There is so much to learn.  Come along on this journey with me.