The Silence Magnifies The Sound: Instrumental Music

The Silence Magnifies The Sound: Instrumental Music
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There’s something remarkable about Instrumental music.

Don’t get me wrong, I listen to plenty of lyrical songs as well. Many of my favorite bands include lyrics and vocals. Yet I always come back to Instrumental music at some point. I’ll listen to Instrumental music for a while before finding a new lyrical band, or rediscovering an old one, then I’ll go back to Instrumental. The cycle continues.

I don’t know what it is about Instrumental music that makes me continue to come back to it, and to want to create it.

I’ve always enjoyed Instrumental music, but I didn’t know of many good Instrumental bands growing up. There were The Ventures, and that was pretty much it. When I was around eight years old, I found the first Instrumental song that I really loved. The song was called Paradise Lost by Icehouse. But my fondness of Instrumental music really began in High School.

I was listening to some Relient K songs on Youtube when I stumbled across the song Terminals. I immediately began listening to Terminals non-stop for the next several days. It had the classic Relient K feel, yet it had the added bonus of being very much electronic (Everything is better with synthesizers). I discovered that Terminals was produced by some guy named Adam Young of a band called Owl City, so I decided to check him out. Owl City instantly became my favorite band. I had never heard electronic music like Owl City before, and I devoured it.

 

As I continued to listen to Owl City, I discovered that Adam Young had created many Instrumental projects before Owl City made him famous. As I first began listening to Port Blue, Windsor Airlift, Insect Airport, Seagull Orchestra, Dolphin Park, and others, I wasn’t quite sure about whether I liked them or not. The music was very different from anything I’d ever heard before. However, I was such a big fan of Adam Young that I kept listening. Gradually, I began to like the music more with each consecutive listen.

I liked Port Blue most of all, and it was Port Blue that got me into Instrumental music.

 

 

But what is it that keeps bringing me back to Instrumental music?

There are the Epic surreal soundscapes of Hammock and Solar Fields which come across not as music, but as art. As the whisperings of distant imaginative worlds.

 

 

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Then there is the powerful magnificence of Post-Rock bands like Explosions In The Sky, God Is An Astronaut, and El Ten Eleven.
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There are many more bands I could name: Ernest Gonzales, Tycho, Carinthia, and more.
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For me, Instrumental music creates a feeling, a mood. The music itself communicates, rather than words. With Instrumental music, you don’t have to worry about bad lyrics, or get tired of people shoving their worldview at you. Instrumental music has the power to communicate on a much deeper and richer level. This is because Instrumental music is communicating with emotions which spark ideas, rather than lyrical music which forces the ideas into your head with words. Instrumental music coxes and makes suggestions, where as lyrical music makes demands. But both can be good in the right circumstances and situations.
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Another thing I like about Instrumental music is that it’s under appreciated. Many of the Instrumental bands I listen to are obscure, or few have heard of them. They’re the underdogs in the music industry. They aren’t creating music to be commercial; they’re creating music to make art. That’s what gives Instrumental music a kind of purity that is rarely found in the music of today. Also, the fact that Instrumental music is not widely known or appreciated makes it feel more special, like a treasure that few have touched.
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I have met few others who enjoy Instrumental music as much as I do. If you are one of these few people, or have other Instrumental bands to recommend, please leave a comment.
– AC

 

(Title inspired by Six Parts Seven song, Silence Magnifies The Sound)
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