Reggae, it's a style of music, it's a culture, it's a way of life. Reggae first came about in the early 1900's Kingston, Jamaica, and it was born of the formerly enslaved people. African rhythms were passed down from generation to generation among these slaves. When the slaves were finally emancipated, they were able to access European instruments such as trumpets and guitars. Now, they created a fusion of European influenced melodies with traditional African rhythms. Thus, Reggae was born. It was a musical clashing of cultures, with the unique "laid back" feel of the Caribbean that truly made Reggae what it is. Reggae was secluded only to the streets of Kingston, Jamaica until the 1960's, when a man named Bob Marley exposed America to this wonderful from of art. Reggae had made several attempts to reach America before Bob Marley, but at the time there was great racial prejudice in the country, and people disregarded it as "Black Music", and did not even brother to listen to it. With Bob's incredible and revolutionary take to Reggae, he was able to expose it not only to America, but to the entire world. Bob also familiarized the world the Rastafarian movement, which is a religion based on the beliefs that Halie Selassie I (a former Ethiopian emperor) is the Messiah. A vast majority of the greatest Reggae artists are Rastafarians. Reggae has inspired people, countries, and even religions. If you haven already, listen to Reggae. It will change your life.
Here's a bit of a reflection on our final year at Fenn that Hayden, Stephon, Billy, and I did a few months back. We played around with different angles on the "pad casters" and had some fun discussing. It's lengthy, but give it a look!
Here's an interesting video about the history of Valentines day. I learned a great deal through this video.
I feel as though I have chosen a great piece for this year's contest. While it is quite lengthy, it has a lot of meaning and depth, and I can really say it with passion. I would love to actually win this year. In past years, I never really tried to win, but I figured I might as well try this year.
This past Saturday night, I was given the opportunity to see the NPR radio show "From The Top" in action with several other members of the Fenn concert band. This show travels across the country featuring extremely talented young musicians. We saw the show at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston. To say the least, it was stunning. There were five or six different musicians featured, the youngest of them being 11 years old. All of these people had very interesting life stories and interests, along with being musical prodigies. It was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend witnessing it for yourself.
Tea, It's more than just a beverage. It's an experience, a lifestyle, an art. Last year, I was introduced to it by a good friend of mine. Before truly getting to know tea, I thought of it as nothing more than an old school substitute for coffee. Little did I know, it was much more than that. Upon being introduced to it, I loved it. It brought to me a sense of freshness, tastefulness, and class. I now drink tea regularly, and enjoy it just as much as I did when I first drank it. I would recommend tea to anyone. There is a perfect kind for everyone.
I recently heard about this wonderful new album on an NPR segment. As soon as I heard it, I was absolutely captivated. "Shipwreck From the Shore" is a new album by Anthony D'Amato, a new and upcoming musical artist and a graduate from Princeton. This album features very upbeat and catchy songs with addicting melodies and interesting instrumental choices. He reminds me of a mix between Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan. There is a very folky/indie vibe to his music. I truly believe that absolutely anyone will like his music. So please, give it a listen. Check it below.
Over the course of the past week or so, I have read through the tenth chapter of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Simply put, I find this book amazing. Since I lived my early childhood in Nantucket, everything in this books seems relatable in a way. It is exactly like reading Thoreau when you live in Concord. Ever since I was very young, I have been captivated by the romance of whaling. It seemed like a magical adventure on the sea. With its vivid descriptiveness, Moby Dick gives a very good perspective of the harsh realities of the whaling lifestyle. Overall, this book has been more than a pleasure to read, and I look forward to continuing to read it.
Today is yet another snow day. When I received the call last night, I could almost hear the frustration in Mr. Wards voice as he reluctantly called for a second snow day in a row. Even though I value the time off from school, the snow is starting to get on my nerves. Even trying to walk in my backyard is nearly impossible because of the sheer amount of snow. All of this snow day down time allowed for me to do some thinking, and I brought up this question with myself: are humans meant to live in cold conditions? I strongly believe that humans are tropical or sub-tropical beings. We are not meant to sustain the harsh conditions of northern winter. We do not have large furry coats like bears or wolves, we do not hibernate like many animals, and we simply are less happy during the winter. Why is it that humans crave the tropical beaches and warmer climates? It's because that's where we are supposed to live. However, we continue to put up with these fierce conditions of winter. There is just something about New England that we can't get away from.
Winter superstorm "Juno" hit today. To be honest, I thought the media was exaggerating about the amount of snow that would fall. To my surprise, they did not at all. I woke up to snow covering over half of my bedroom window, and winds howling outside. The snow is still falling out there at an incredible rate. It seems like the snow will carry into tomorrow. I can't wait to hear if Mr. Ward will call two days in a row!