Thursday, 14 March 2013

Thankful Thursday

In this wonderfully exciting world in which we live humans have, certainly in recorded history, always been explorers.  By that most people would, I think, immediately think of the great explorers who have shaped our modern world by discovering new lands and inhabiting them or trading with them.  Anyone reading this blog is also likely to be thinking in terms of the European explorers but, in fact, people have explored from their home country everywhere in the world.  Now we have a vehicle on Mars some 35 million miles (56 million km) at the closest point in its orbit from the Earth.

The first explorers I can actually recall learning about were the Phoenicians who were accomplished seafarers and traders around 1200 to 500AD.  In contrast New Zealand was only inhabited by Europeans around 200 years ago - very recently.

Explorers change the world with each new discovery.

However geographical explorers are but a minute, though very significant, part of the phenomenon of exploration.  Every thing we have in our modern world owes its existence in our world to exploration in one form or another.  We explore from the moment we are born and when we are young we explore anything we can reach with our chubby little hands and when we can't reach it without crawling we crawl, then walk and then the world is our oyster and our world gets ever larger as we get older. 

In the greater scheme of things most of us are not explorers of note nor of things likely to change the world.  We explore new subjects to learn, new books, new experiences, new foods, new loves and new lives to name a few of the more obvious things.  We do it without ever thinking of ourselves as explorers.

A few days ago Wendy mentioned Spotify.  I'd never heard of it.  Some of you may know that one of my greatest loves is music.  I constantly search for new composers and new works.  Despite what is often said about the retraction of the classical music industry more and more works are being made available every month and I keep up to date via the Presto Classical newsletter.  However buying a CD just to listen to a work one has never heard before in the hope that it will be a new treasure in one's library can be an expensive and frustrating business.

Enter Spotify and I have now discovered a way of listening to those very CDs legally and at minimal cost.  The way I buy and keep my music might be about to change dramatically.

So today I am truly thankful for the opportunity to explore musical pastures new.

16 comments:

  1. I had never heard of Spotify either until now...it's not available for us here...so enjoy.
    I am a member of a jazz club and I do listen to an online jazz and contemporary music station, so when the new songs are played, I make a note and then check out the albums on Amazon.

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    1. With 'classical' music, Virginia, it's a little more difficult and I don't listen to radio very often so this is about to open up a whole new world of the less popular classical works.

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  2. music does bring different people together. and explorers are one of a kind. interesting post.

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    1. Thanks Doreen. Music for me is not simply entertainment it is a necessity: a vehicle for emotions.

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  3. We are curious beings so we go on exploring. I read two amazing books on how the Chinese did some major earth voyages. It's claimed that when Columbus came to America he had a chart...purchased from the Chinese.

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  4. I had never heard of Spotify, but I must try it, that'll be my exploration for the day.

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    1. I think you'll be impressed Bill.

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  5. I have heard of Spotify but never knew what it was. I shall now investigate. I am a bit shocked that I have been so incurious... it is a most intriguing name and I have often vaguely wondered what it meant!

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    1. I'd never heard of it Jenny and now I am hooked.

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  6. I've actually heard quite a lot about Spotify but I never got round to checking it out myself. I think I was under the impression one had to pay for it, but I suppose the discussions have gone back and forth on that and perhaps differ between countries as well.

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    1. Monica it probably does differ from country to country. There is a free service available here which streams and the premium service which enables you to download and play offline. Either way it's absolutely amazing for my purposes.

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  7. I was just reading about the Phoenicians in relation to the cheese trade.

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    1. Quite a coincidence, Cat, in that they are not generally an everyday topic of conversation!

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  8. Spotify seems a bit of a time drain to me, but I'm sure if you are focused it could work for you.

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    1. Music is such an essential part of my life, Cat, that being able to explore new composers whom I would otherwise be unlikely to hear or buy until I was sure I like them (I've been listening to Joachim Raff's Symphonies today) is a great bonus for me. Music can never be a time drain for me.

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