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What is a Music Lover?

Music lover

By Tony Pothitos

What is a man without music?

If you walk into any OA meeting (over eaters anonymous) you will hear people tell you that they are trying to fill a void in their souls, and that the stomach is the way to that source. Over the years we have heard various sayings that if you want to get to a mans heart it's through his stomach.

I have a new theory, based on self observation and reassessment of various variables and factors in my own 40 year history of being alive on this planet called earth. And, tonight, I am going to try to share some of those thoughts with those of you who care to establish a meaning to something we all care about. Our music, or muse as I call it.

Since mans birth, music has existed in one form or another, and although we here at A.C.A do not believe that music has to have rhythm, most people do feel that is the jest of it all, notes to make you move your body and dance, forget, leave our everyday problems behind and just relax and have a drink with.

In the birth of electrical equipment and new toys, music is made simpler to produce and to market. This leads to mass production of some heavy garbage, as one would expect, as from periodicals or books which have come out, in the billions, not all books are read, and there is a reason why. Simply, they don't have anything to tell us that we want to, or don't already know.

Obsessive compulsive disorders are, as you all know a disease, which is dangerous. It comes of forms of smoking, drinking, eating, and even sex. It comes in behaviors which multiply, as we multiply with psychological problems in our overgrown, undernourished minds and souls of our passion and desire to live, but cannot, due to inhibitions, underpay or even abuse from parental behaviors.

But when you can't sleep because your singing, even when trying to sleep, notes come to your mind, songs, words, what is that called? Why is it that at 4:30 am a person like myself, and I assume am not the only one in the world to be so, cannot sleep because he is still hearing a system in the frontal lobe of his brain?

I have stopped smoking, drinking and even sweets, as I was addicted to those ailments of the human body. But everyone knows that too much of anything is bad for you. Even love! I can live without sex, without most food groups, without friends even, but I cannot live without a high end stereo in my bedroom, playing me the blues, or any type of music for that matter.

This new disease under the DSMIVR (diagnostic and statistical manual, version IV revised) is not mentioned. I in actual fact hear my friends stereos playing in my head, and try to compensate with notes and sounds, which my fruitful mind seems to fill in the blanks with, with amazing accuracy I might add...

My latest speakers were the B&W 802N, with a valve preamplifier and a Yamaha MXD1 digital amplifier, 500 watts per channel. A simple Unison Unico CD player, again with a valve pre-out and a Clearaudio Master Solution vinyl player with a much modified Rega 250, which looks nothing like it, but deep down in the arm, the chassis is still a Rega. For a cartridge I was playing a simple Denon 160 with a phono stage not worth mentioning and wires which are not bad, but not the best in the world also. The Audio Magic Production stand hold over 175 kilos of lead in them with a double rack to keep the bass from coming back into the cartridge. So, all in all, this is nothing special, but more than adequate, if you have the room for it. Total cost is around 20,000 Euros, which is very little compared to other systems I have owned in the past.

I placed them for show a few weeks ago and decided to get a new pair of speakers for my perfectly cubed room which does nothing but enhance agony and frustration to the point of murdering what the system is trying to play. But I have discovered something which I was not expecting in my entire life to happen, and this is why I am up so late at night writing instead of sleeping.

I miss it. I am longing for the concerts we went to together, the live quartets in my room, I miss Roger Waters and I miss the feeling of being high from the only source of fun left in our life which doesn't cause cancer or is dangerous to others. Unless we are talking about SPL (sound pressure levels), but that is not the case here.

I miss Sciubba & Antonio Forcione, keeping me company while I do my everyday things, and mostly when I did my listening and only listening music sessions. I miss the hip hop, where .50 cent would make me act like an imbecile dancing by myself while neurons in my head went off at amazing speeds otherwise never thought of possible in my brain, making my feet and body move accordingly. I miss Louis Armstrong clearing his throat, and I miss Ella moving left and right according to the rhythm and the sound engineer not being able to make up for the elevation and the opposite of her voice bouncing in all directions.

I had a friend called music, and it is no longer here. I grieve like a child not, but more so like how an elderly grieves when losing his spouse after many years of experiences and hardships together. I'm not saying my system was my girlfriend, but I am trying to give a hint of how I feel as I am writing these words. I turn on the radio in my car and hear trash, and end up just hearing the exhaust and smell the emissions from the rear ends of other vehicles instead. There is nothing like having a good high end home system, nurtured and grown like any living plasma in the world, but in a very metaphorical type of way.

I long for the guitars to fill my mind with ecstasy, I long for the bass to make me realize what a drum is, and I long for the piano to talk to me like a flute would, or an oboe, or any windblown instrument made for expressing the world around us. Am I asking for too much, am I not realizing there is a baby dying every three seconds from hunger? What on earth am I really saying here?

In a world where you cant really make decisions about your life and how the world is, we feel small, we feel obsolete, and each one of us, has a fear of the world being blown apart from a missile or a biogenetic hazardous action of hate. So in our small clams we call homes, we try to make the best of what we have. And we forget others are dying while we even make our thoughts. Remember every 3 seconds a child dies of hunger, every second of every day.

Surely that makes me feel nothing! Because I'm fat, and I have money, and a great car, a great woman, a great job and I have more degrees on my wall than anyone I know. But so what? I have all of this, yet I cannot give the satisfaction that one song gives to me to these people who suffer daily, maybe even because I have a longing to spend money on Hi End systems… really, who knows.

How do the children of Africa hear music, or do they even know what it is? How can their mothers sing to them while they are still etching off the dead flies off their scalps along with the lice aligned with their hairline?

I cannot understand them, even though I give to charity, I send money; I am a donor and even a foster parent of 3 children in Africa. Do I really make any difference? Yes I do, in my own way, and even though I know they are under privileged and under fed, and not educated, I also know one of the major reasons this is happening is not because of the country I or you live in, but the political regime which they happen to be born under, not to mention the circumstances thereof.

I write these words of course in tune with Live & Aid, which happened last Saturday, which was to send the message to the richest and heaviest weighted mean men, (statistically speaking) to give 24 billion dollars to Africa for aid. 'In God we trust' the Americans say, but in money, they live by.

But here comes Greece, again in the forefront of society. As the saying goes, In Greece, being poor gives rise to the need of entertainment, and this my friends, is where the whole story begins to come to a complete circle. 'H ftohia theli kaloperasi' is the exact phrase, but when our forefathers said it, it was meant literally. 'Ftohia' means poverty, but poor is the free translation of the word used here.

I have everything a man can want, except kids, but I have lived an amazing life, I miss nothing, I have traveled the world, several times, and have done my share to help the world with my work. And even dare to say I have saved a few thousand lives with a drug I helped create for Alzheimer's, so I cannot say I am short of anything at my 40 years of age. On the other hand, I have a disease which inflicts great pain in the abdomen and thus have my own health problems to deal with, but nothing compared to what has been mentioned above. I am 40, they don't get to 4! Am I being an egoistic animal I think to myself? Or am I normal, because no one asks these questions or dares to write about them.

Yet, I am in poverty without my music. It is uncanny, but it is accurate. I can't sleep because I have not had my dose of music. No club can offer it, no car of mine or my friends can, and I cannot go to friends homes every night so I can sleep. Then they won't, and that's even worst! I feel empty in my mind and my heart from simple notes not flowing into my head.

So what do I do? I remember a friends home where I was lately, then another's and then when I finish listening to what I heard there, I come back to where I am now, in my bedroom, trying to recollect everything that I lived here in this cube. My muse is how I tick, and I cannot seem to live without it. I am a moderator at A.C.A and have nothing to write about since I have a system not worth hearing. But it seems lately that I have grown into this system since I have nothing else to listen to, and have come to appreciate the little Pathos integrated amp with the Triangle speakers attached.

This article is getting too large and getting into depth would probably cause some of you to vomit, so I will get to the point.

Maybe money doesn't make the world go around, maybe the reason why we go to live aid concerts is not for the fun, but because we have an insane reason to believe that if they heard what we have, they would be better off too.

Maybe they don't need 24 billion dollars; maybe they need 20 and 4 billion in mind enrichment classes, which have to do with music, and the need to grow with it, and the need and desire to survive until the next night to do the same thing again and again. These people have lost hope, and that is not something you can buy. Music is the only human made thing, which can help other than money in those areas where people need to be helped, given a hope, and to make them want a better tomorrow.

Am I being optimistic, definitely not, since it has been proven that music does this to people and thus its affect on the teenagers is greater than on older people. Music shapes people, cultures, and sometimes peoples lives.

That is what loving music to me means, and although it means something very different to everyone taking the time to read these words, allow me to say you are right, music is what you make of it, what you do with its power, as if it is a syringe injecting strength or wisdom into you.

It is why A.C.A. is important to me, it is why a few people, even with them not knowing it, share some feelings in this hobby, which makes us better, makes us give to those who don't have, and makes us ultimately try to become better human beings. Through music, man has achieved the only thing that man has no war over. It is a gift which should be cherished and not passed on throughout life without its proper stature, and if music appreciation was a course in college which I did take, they certainly didn't do a good job of teaching me what music really is.

Music is Mans call for help, Mans need to live, and Mans way of giving to each other.

Next time you listen to a piece of music, think about what music is for you, and share it with others. You might just find out how important it is for yourself, the person who never cared, or even knew what hi-fi, let alone high end meant. Next time, don't let the rhythm take control of you; think of the people who need to hear it, and what they would feel within. Next time, keep a song with you, sing, read a poem and make it into a song, create life, give life and never stop singing, even if it's 'singing in the rain'.

And, as my father used to say, may God bless his music loving soul, no matter what you have, no matter what the hardship; a song inside your head can help you. Thanks Dad, you didn't have a PhD in Psychology, but you knew what man was meant to be and to do in life, simply put... think Music...

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