Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.
Luke Million: Herbie HancocK – Head Hunters
Dear Head Hunters
I still remember our first time together. I was only 15 years old, bright-eyed and had seen so little of life. Years of playing classical piano had me feeling somewhat bored and the fleeting allure of grunge music caused my wandering eye to flirt with the guitar.
The rug was pulled out from under me pretty quickly upon hearing the first few bars of ‘Chameleon’ when I heard the bouncy synth bass of your Arp Odyssey. This singular moment signalled the inception of a synthesiser love affair that today burns brighter than ever. I was convinced I was hearing sounds of the future and you were transcending all boundaries of space and time to reach me. Your synth solo seemed to go against everything I was taught, challenged every fibre of my musical being and I wanted more. I needed you.
For the next few years you were with me everywhere. In the car on the way to school, at Saturday sports and parties. Any chance I could, I would be with you. I even started to try and imitate you. I bought the things you had so I could feel a closer connection, understand what truly inspired you and hoped to get a glimpse into the world as you see it.
I had heard a Rhodes electric piano before courtesy of ‘Riders on the Storm’ by The Doors but it was not until I heard that sweet run on the change up in ‘Chameleon’ that I understood the unbridled beauty of all it could be. It was a big part of you and now was to be part of me. I didn’t stop there, I found myself a Hohner Clavinet D6 and an Arp Odyssey and many more pieces of the gear you loved.
Our connection grew stronger each day and I wanted to share our happiness with others. I formed a band and would jam out to ‘Watermelon Man’ learning how to lay back on the groove and release those warm, fuzzy feels which were filled with nostalgia of my days with you.
As I turn you over and let ‘Sly’ play, I ponder the qualities that make you what you are. I feel jazz, smoothness, raw funk and uncontrolled mayhem that resolves in a dance of the senses. Your hypnotising sounds in ‘Vein Melter’ always take me on a journey of discovery and hope. You always put a smile on my face when you transpose into the major key and sing those sweet melodies to me.
Looking back at our years together, I can’t be thankful enough for all you have taught me. I feel that you opened my eyes to a whole new world and gave me the strength to find my true calling in life. As I look at the synthesisers that surround me (maybe 30 or so now), I see you in each one.
You are and always will be in my life.
Catch Luke Million tonight, Wednesday March 7th, at the inaugural WYD? Wednesdays at Marly – a new mid-week free party, taking over Newtown’s Marlborough Hotel. Luke Million’s new single ‘Alive Ft. FLUIR’ is out now.