It has long been known to me, whether through the remarks of my friends or through my own perception, that I am indeed a man of somewhat eccentric tastes. I say this after having read a favourite short story of mine by Edgar Allan Poe entitled ‘Ligeia’ after having earlier listened to some of my favourite southern gospel songs on Youtube. A strange combination of tastes I think all would agree, especially for a 19 year old to possess! I have previously been called numerous times by my friends an ‘old man’, much to my amusement. The oldest I can recall being labelled being 90, would you believe! Indeed I do possess a queer taste for someone of my age. While all around me were content to listen to the simple, catchy, mainstream pop or hip hop on the radio in work, I was rarely happier when solitary in the filing room with a Haydn String Quartet or Beethoven symphony in the background. Not only is this at odds with the status quo, so to speak, of youth today, it also accompanies even stranger listening habits of mine.
Not too long ago now, I think about a year or two, I developed a taste (as mentioned prior) for southern gospel music. I haven’t the faintest idea where this taste first came from, but I do have some ideas as to why it has now developed into a fairly strong liking for the rather peculiar music. I think I am attracted to southern gospel for two reasons (probably more but these two spring to mind) firstly because of the quality of voice that these singers possess. There are few greater sounds than that of the human voice and to hear multiple voices in such wondrous harmony as I do everytime I listen to this music is great. The second reason why I believe I am attracted to this musical form is the values that come with it. When watching the videos on the internet of the various concerts at which the various quartets perform, I can’t help but notice that the same people crop up in the crowd. In these videos and in the concerts that they depict, there is a strong feeling of togetherness and of ‘family’ that I feel I am greatly attracted to. This quality and the quality of the voices on show and in harmony, I believe, cancels out the religious element and the baseness of music to which I harbour an aversion.
When listing off my various tastes in music, in literature and in other such pursuits, it is hard to find common ground with people of my age group. There are not many teenagers with a fondness for ‘free jazz’ or Russian Romantic music, indeed, the majority of the attendees at the last few concerts I have been tend to be of a much older generation. This has its difficulties, in my earlier teens I had fairly average tastes, that of ‘heavy metal’ and even earlier punk music of the likes of Green Day. People, young people especially, tend to value that which they enjoy most highly and, if they happen across someone of similar tastes, they tend to immediately form bonds based on such common preferences.
I have yet to find someone like this, but, for now, I am content to enjoy these pleasures in solitude.