One of the activities I engaged in over the holidays was taking my wife out for her birthday. On that list was a run to Borders, where she could listen to new music. Borders has those computer stations throughout the store with the bar-code scanner and headphones. For the life of me, I couldn't get the one in soundtracks to work, so I approached the staff, "Pardon me, but I'm trying to listen to this album..."
"...Oh that's so simple, its self-explanatory. Just scan it at the bottom of the monitor, and put the headphones on."
I know to some teen, I'm probably the epitome of old, but the base O/S is Windows for christssake, "Yes, its that part actually, which isn't working." They then proceeded to SHOW me, explaining all the while how very simple it was. How very easy. Of course, it didn't work for them either. "Well, this one doesn't work," they went on to say, and I was led to another kiosk, and once again *shown* how it operated. I tried to not roll my eyes when I thanked them, oblivious to the fact that the errant station was my problem, not the operation of the bar-code scanner, but I digress. You see, that's how I ended up listening to my handful of scores in the Rock/Pop section of the store.
Having grown up in a household where classical and opera was predominantly played, coupled with the fact that all the dumb kids listened to heavy metal in grade school (the same ones who became stoners and drop-outs in high school, still wearing their black death metal T-shirts) I always abhorred heavy metal, and those who listened to it. From my perspective, it was quite obvious. Only later in life, as an adult, did I find highly-intelligent people who listened to metal. It was one of those life-changing events, shaking the very core of my beliefs. Could they simply be musically immature? Wasn't classical and opera the pinnacle of musical development? Or...was I missing something? Could that be possible?
I listened on and off to various suggestions and bands on and off along this path - to be honest, I couldn't tell one song from another. It amused me to think that these people probably thought the same of Beethoven and Mozart. But there I was, standing in the Rock/Pop section, scanning the covers from which to judge the contents by, and I saw what looked like a Sarah Brightman or Enya cover (albeit with a more primal expression on her face), with oddly out-of-place heavy metal font usage. Curious, I scanned it in and gave it a listen. It was definitely metal, but the lead singer had an operatic voice, speaking to me like Brünnhilde from a Wagnerian piece. I wasn't quite riveted, as all that noise seemed to get in the way, but my curiosity was certainly piqued. The cover had a sticker on it proclaiming it a solo album from the lead-singer of the group Nightwish. I found and previewed a sampling of their discs, then picked up EVERYTHING.
I even made a compilation for my dad, of some of the more operatic pieces.
He liked it.
So yeah, heavy metal. Usually when I use that term, I'm referring to the Elmer Bernstein film score. I immediately called two people on my FL who I know enjoy this type of music to witness to them. To share the Good News.
Color me surprised.
Tarja Turunen, former lead singer of Nightwish