Beauty of it

On my twelfth birthday, I was given a brand new Epiphone Acoustic guitar, and I have had a growing passion for music ever since. As I grew older and more experienced, I began to learn and appreciate different facets of music. It taught me to become more open minded to the wide range of music, and more importantly, to the people who created it. It was not until I began living in Athens that I fully realized that any kind of music is open to anyone, anywhere, and at anytime.

Athens, Georgia is perhaps known as one of the most diverse musical scenes in America. The genres range from psychedelic funk to bluegrass to grunge rock to hip-hop. Most, if not every, Athenians’ musical taste has a spot in this broad spectrum.  Most who play in Athens are given a stage with lights and a crowd to please. This town is so open and welcoming that it is a privilege to do so. Some of those bands have what it takes to someday make it to the big times, while others only have the clothes on their back, blues in their heart, and a guitar in their hands. The more unfortunate have a stage, but it’s just not fully equipped. It’s most likely the square made up of Clayton Street and College Street. Whether onstage in the 40 Watt or on the street corner, those who truly love music share the same passion for it.

This past summer, I suddenly realized this shared passion of music. When I finally did figure it out, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long. After seeing Perpetual Groove close for Athfest, my friends and I headed downtown with the crowd. I kept thinking about how great the show was and the intensity they shared on stage in front of hundreds of people. As we approached the Grill, I noticed a man playing a bucket with drumsticks, a man on the guitar, and another on a violin.  If I was blind and I heard the way they played, I would’ve thought they were playing for a crowd of at least one hundred people. In reality, the only people for whom they were playing were themselves and the people who swiftly walked past. Nonetheless, they were playing with as much determination as P Groove was on stage before a crowd. I realized then that music doesn’t come with a price, it’s not segregated, and it’s not judgmental of who someone is. Music is available to anyone who seeks it and Athens is one of the greatest cities to find it.

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