Where does the Musical Explorer start? And where is he or she going?
Personally I am ofcourse fascinated by the genres most common to slide & bottleneck guitar players, however, that's only part of the story. I think music is huge; it spans across the globe from one corner to the other and along the flowing timeline of cultural evolution. Music is an ever-evolving universe of stars and planets and the galaxies that these celestial bodies orbit around in, waiting for a visit from the Musical Explorer's startship. Only difference is these galaxies are not moving away from each other, as the galaxies of the Cosmos do, they are - at least in my opinion - converging towards each other. At least for some of us who are observing carefully enough they seem so.
Those closer to me know they can find me listening to music from all galaxies, not just the ones I frequent more often. And by that I don't only mean distant galaxies like the didgeridoo of Australia, the Pan flutes of South America or the Taiko drumming of Japan. Unlikely galaxies like those of modern popular genres may still hold undiscovered gems, Earth-like planets for the Musical Explorer to discover.
But to find them and make a landing the Musical Explorer needs to be willing to look. Too often some galaxies are dismissed altogether and deemed not worth the visit. Too many would-be explorers think they know every corner of a galaxy ~ one they've never visited most likely. Now that's self righteousness if I've ever seen it! What's even funnier is people are usually so confident about genres they never really listen to. The Milky Way is a vast place, it's made up of some 200 billion stars and, exactly so, it is impossible to know everything there is to know about a whole music genre, everything that was ever recorded and everything that ever will be.
Lord knows I've been guilty in the past. But thankfully one too many times have I been surprised to stumble upon something that's really strong - strong in the genuine way music is supposed to be strong when it hits you with its energy - and yeah it came from a style or era or genre that I was sure I wanted to have nothing to do with.
And so one can only hope that during these interesting times that we live in when information - and music - from around the world is only a click away, that convergence will eventually happen. That people will understand that their personal musical affiliations and experiences are only a drop in the ocean of world music. A drop not unlike any of the other drops which after all make the ocean of world music the wonderful and life-abundant place it is.
To close this long blabber I dare you to abide by the Musical Explorer's oath:
Dare to listen.
Dare to accept.
Dare to baldly go where no man has gone before.