Jonar's favourite music - Click on the links below to hear some favourite tracks
music

At social functions, people often ask each other about the type of music they listen to. Apart from it being an ice-breaker, it does offer some clues about a person's tastes. In my case, I find it difficult to answer this question because I do have such a varied taste, depending on the mood I'm in.

The links below point to a sample of what I would choose for some of the situations in which I might find myself. By clicking on the words, you will be able to hear the audio. Naturally, these are only some of the thousands that I could have chosen.

I enjoy music that does not trick me; meaning that it must be true to its promise. For example, if it is supposed to help me sleep then it should do so without interrupting me as I drift away. It should not contain abrupt or coarse moments. I listen to classical music that can follow this pattern. Heavy or schizophrenic jumps in mood spoil it for me. For that reason, only a small range of classical music suits my temperament.

There are times when I need music to heal me, or to help me ponder about the deep and meaningful moments in life.

When I go walking, I try to look at things that I rarely have the opportunity to observe while driving. Hence, walking music must allow me to get into the rhythm of the surrounding environment.

When I take friends out to see a stage  show, I like catchy tunes that are easy to remember and hum to. Opera and musicals are not my favourite, only because most storylines are about someone having a fight with someone else. This disturbs my spirit.

It is marvellous to watch musicians play their instrument. There is something rewarding about watching a harpist become one with the instrument. It is not hard to be swept away by clarinettists or those who can play a string instrument in a way that makes me melt away. One of the sweetest instruments is the human voice. Used well, it can penetrate my heart.

I rarely go to concerts because I dislike the traffic and the crowds. With music so readily available, it is sometimes better to listen to music at my own pace and in my own time. However, some artists produce magic together. I get a thrill out of watching them perform as a team. Some groups play so well together, that watching the players feed off each other's energy renews my vigour and boosts my hope for the human race, especially when there is a genius behind the orchestral composition.

Some instruments are very simple. Yet when played by a master, they come to life. Such is the case with simple percussion instruments that beat away to produce funky tunes.

I am fascinated when I observe how cultures have managed to create a feel of their own. The Irish know how to sing about a broken heart. Modern Aboriginal bands know how to pump energy into the soul. The Spanish know how to ignite romance, while the Arabs can reach inside the heart and pulsate it.

There are times when I surrender to music in order to chill out. When I crave for a better world, I have certain styles that get me going and urge me to take up arms. Sad songs indulge sad times, after which I listen carefully to songs whose words help me to recognise much needed wisdom. In prayer, I find choral works to be angelic and soothing, especially if I am lamenting about the loss of a loved one. I try to heal from a broken heart; and just when I feel stronger, it starts all over again, with new hope, and new love by the fireside.

So you see, it is not easy for me to nominate one style of music. I enjoy any piece of music that is brilliant in its own right. I love the sun and I adore the rain. I enjoy the clever mixing of music and vocals that combine to form an aria.

Whether I am madly in love, or pensive. Whether I feel invincible or let down by friends, I can cocoon myself in my many tracks, each carefully catalogued in my mind.

I am very particular about music, sound, and noise. I insist on the right combination of poetry, wisdom, and funk. It surprises many people to learn that although I give thousands of radio interviews, and have been doing so for over ten years, I actually never listen to radio. Never! I never watch television. I do own videos, and I watch what suits me, when it suits me. Most of my videos are BBC comedies. You can learn more about that in my separate Comedy section.

Often I infuriate restaurateurs when I ask for their music to be changed. I make taxi drivers mad when I ask them to turn the radio off. I take offence at music that is not in synchronisation with my mood because I can close my eyes, but I can't shut my ears, so when I can, I try to take control. When one becomes acutely aware of the power of music, one becomes intolerant to inputs that clash with the soul. Any piece of brilliant music is nothing but noise if it infiltrates my heart uninvited.

Of course I enjoy some jazz, a small amount of clever techno, and intelligent disco; but only when they suit my mood. I enjoy good tap, and even mixed genres that morph into a whole new feel. I also get a buzz out of stupid crazy songs that don't mean anything; like this one about a blender that turns into the world's most powerful vacuum cleaner!

Each of the excerpts presented here is from musicians and artists whom I study. I don't just listen to music. I engage with the artists. It is much more enjoyable when I can understand the human behind the creativity. By learning about their life and challenges, I can better understand how their music was born.

Each of the artists presented in this list are those for whom I have complete respect and admiration. Some are no longer with us on this planet, yet their spirit hovers over me, and I feel that they are with me. It is strange to relate to you that I have a sense of gratitude towards these artists. I am truly grateful for their performance, and for what they have created for me to enjoy. I really do applaud them in my heart every time I hear their labour of love. I actually thank them after every performance that is played out in my head. The weird aspect is that they do not know that I exist on this Earth. Despite that, I am selfishly absorbing their energy, and can feel a sense of wonder about what they are giving to me, when in fact I am a total stranger to them. This is what I call generosity.

By the way, I have compiled my own music CD to complement the mood of How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People. Here are some sample tracks in one long extract. This CD is valued at A$35 and is provided as a gift to all online orders over A$100.

Also note that the tracks you hear here are licensed, meaning that I pay an annual fee to the appropriate authorities out of respect to the law and to the rightful copyright owners.

I'd be happy to learn about your taste in music, so please write to me. I answer all my mail.

Jonar Nader