A lesson to be learned


Few people love instrumental synth music more than I do. Cheesy elevator music, early phone ringtones or plain muzak all have for me a gentle, simplistic quality that are lost on most people. But the story I’m about to share with you shows that my love for this music genre is not as deep as I once thought. Is has, like all love affairs, its limits…

hotdogs2My wife is Polish, and I’m Norwegian. We therefore have different Christmas traditions and I’m always eager to learn more about Polish culture and customs. I was very happy when a colleague of mine told me that she, when buying two hotdogs at the Krakow airport, got a free CD with Polish Christmas music – which she freely gave to me. I rushed home and showed it to my wife. Looking at the cover, she told me that, yes, this CD contains most of out beloved Polish Christmas songs. Yay!

So I put the CD into the CD player and eagerly started listening… and… what is this? Pling-plong music? Where is the vocal? Where are the songs about the great, incredible Christmas miracle?

The CD was filled with nothing but instrumental synth music. For the first time ever I found myself profoundly disappointed with a synth-only release. We both felt cheated. We hadn’t paid a dime for the CD, but our anticipation had been real.

So I had to do a search on a music on demand service for the songs. Luckily I found them, with vocals and everything. Christmas was saved.

Suddenly it dawned on me. This small, everyday event had showed me something important; a synth version of a beloved song will never be equal to the original. It doesn’t have the same value. Period.

We who create, promote and love this genre must know the strengths and weaknesses of synth music. A cover version will never be the same as an original.

Artists; use your synths wisely.

I learned another thing too; what you get for free when buying two hot dogs at the airport is perhaps not of the highest quality…