Felt Music's Liz Williams takes us on a journey through her continually wide reaching and varied taste in music
The magic of the generational shifts any music lover makes in their exploration and appreciation is a capsule worth exploring – and to that end; here’s mine!
My taste has always been wide reaching and varied. I sought out poetry, expression, political activism, meaning and catharsis through the music I chose but ensured there was always a smattering of straight up good vibes pop music to balance things out.
When I was young the music I grew up on was a mix of classical, Spanish solo guitar (this was my bedtime music!), Canadian folk music and whatever was on the radio. I was a huge fan from my young years until my pre-teens of Madonna, Eurythmics, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah McLachlan, James Taylor, Elvis, Beethoven, Bach and started making a habit of queuing up for hours outside Toronto’s biggest indie record shop in the dead of the Canadian winter for boxing day sales as my teens hit. I also loved musical scores and film music and would terrorise my mother in the car with singing everything at the top of my growing lungs! Sorry Mom, especially for the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid and Dirty Dancing! What a combo! I wore out tapes listening relentlessly to my favourite albums; and I still have the habit of album listening even in this digital age of the fleeting single.
In my teens my tastes evolved and I was drawn to storytelling music and the craft of songwriting as I’d already learned a number of instruments including classical vocal training and was starting to hone my own craft as a songwriter.
Artists that were peaking my interest then included Tori Amos, Ani Difranco but also maintained a strong hold in popular culture with huge love for artists like Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Whitney Houston and Portishead. At this stage CDs came in and my angsty teenage years revealed musical choices that allowed an exploration into the self that gave me that “aha” moment of the power of music and how it connects people and gives meaning. I spent all my time listening to records when I wasn’t at school or having the occasional social. I saved up and over one year of patient savings bought myself high quality separates for my bedroom so my listening standards would be top notch!
I had a one year love affair with living in Italy and was introduced to their pop music, my favourite ended up being an artist called Carmen Consoli! (Not in the list but worth checking out).
When I moved to London the folk attraction remained strong but over the years has evolved into loving Neo Classical artists like Olafur Arnolds, Nils Frahm; and evolving my electronic exploration into artists like Susanne Sundfør and into house music and some with disco routes like Crazy P. Bonus points if you know the original DJ name ;)
I still write and play music and am grateful for the doors that having a varied history of styles opened for me creatively. It even infiltrated my wedding, splicing the Star Wars theme tune and mixing into Fleetwood Mac 'Everywhere'. As a music supervisor it gives me a depth of resource to tap into and means there are few genres out of familiarity that also means I am always up for hearing pretty much any style of music!
Music is a constant friend; this is the thread that connects the whole. It does something for us as people that nothing else does, and that is kind of magic! A few selections from my musical journey below.