Experiencing Music Around The World

A lot of my decisions revolve around music. One of my must-do’s while traveling is to take in as much of the local music as possible. In fact, several times I’ve changed my entire travel plans just to hear a band or go to a venue to hear a DJ play. I can hardly write this article without having music in the background. I’m obsessed.

For instance, there’s Tango, a dance and musical genre originating from Argentina. There was a rise and fall of Tango that became evident during the economic depression and the military dictatorships basically banning any sort of gatherings. After the Dirty War, Tango took another rise providing the people national pride and hope for a nation that lost so much. Tango brought them together once again and the love for it shows if you happen to visit Buenos Aires.

Playing Guitar in Bangkok

Playing Guitar in Bangkok

How Travel and Music Go Together

Music: An art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. (Dictionary.com Reference)

Paying attention to the sights and the sounds that go along with it is a required element of travel. Music is essentially all around us. From the car horns of New York City, the waterfalls of Iguazu, and the busy haggling of Beijing. It’s music and it creates the atmosphere around us. How? Without the car horns, is it still NYC? Without the sounds of water falling, is it still a waterfall?They add color to what you see. It may not always be pleasing to your ears but it’s still expressing what you see.

Then there’s the music rhythm itself. Music has always created a sense of happiness, hope, and unity around the world. It’s one of the things we all have in common, the passion of listening. I believe that by listening to music in the culture you are in, it will give you a better understanding of the culture. In the same sense, it relates to trying new foods. There is a culture around how we eat, what we eat, and where we eat in the same sense that music has how we play, what we play, and where we play it. Both that has shaped and formed all nations.

How I Got Involved with Music

My online alias is Skylab. In 1996, my parents owned a nightclub in Lodi, New Jersey called Skylab. I was eleven years old and it was when I first started DJing. Unfortunately, the venue only lasted a year but it had such a big impact on me that I decided to take on the name as my internet alias. Before I became a nomad, I had a full DJ booth and studio equipment. An investment later sold to travel.

Since I’m a DJ, I try to take as many gigs as possible in any country I’m in. I’ve DJed so far in China, Laos, Thailand, and Peru. I love seeing people get excited and experiencing what people enjoy in each country. It’s not easy trying to find a venue that will trust and let me play but I’ve somehow managed to DJ a few times. I love traveling with a harmonica as well.

DJ Skylab (Myself) in Chengdu, China

DJ Skylab (Myself) in Chengdu, China

  • http://www.adventurouskate.com Adventurous Kate

    Great post! I love seeing what people are into around the world. When I did my first trip overseas to France in 2001, they played “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy more or less constantly! By then, that song had been OVER in the US for quite some time…

    As for Thailand, I’m surprised that boy bands are still as popular today as they once were. I love how my bus driver to Pai, a young guy, went from playing Eminem and Akon to “Quit Playing Games With My Heart.” No irony.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Yeah, I realized in China that it’s totally acceptable for a guy to sing the most girly pop music imaginable at Karaoke. In fact, it draws girls to the singer in a good way. Maybe the young guy was practicing for his gig later that night. Or trying to show off in front of you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kan-Huang/578595011 Kan Huang

        I can just about confirm that haha! And sometimes in the open air at a park with a little karaoke machine too.

        • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

          And the routine dances they do in groups with the little karaoke machine. Those are fun to watch.

  • http://www.adventurouskate.com Adventurous Kate

    Great post! I love seeing what people are into around the world. When I did my first trip overseas to France in 2001, they played “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy more or less constantly! By then, that song had been OVER in the US for quite some time…

    As for Thailand, I’m surprised that boy bands are still as popular today as they once were. I love how my bus driver to Pai, a young guy, went from playing Eminem and Akon to “Quit Playing Games With My Heart.” No irony.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Yeah, I realized in China that it’s totally acceptable for a guy to sing the most girly pop music imaginable at Karaoke. In fact, it draws girls to the singer in a good way. Maybe the young guy was practicing for his gig later that night. Or trying to show off in front of you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kan-Huang/578595011 Kan Huang

        I can just about confirm that haha! And sometimes in the open air at a park with a little karaoke machine too.

        • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

          And the routine dances they do in groups with the little karaoke machine. Those are fun to watch.

  • Kan

    How ironic that your surname is one letter off from the greatest DJ in the world.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Haha I get that a lot.

  • Kan

    How ironic that your surname is one letter off from the greatest DJ in the world.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Haha I get that a lot.

  • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ Andi Perullo

    I so didn’t know you were a DJ! I’m obsessed with tango electronica. Love it! I think music and travel definitely go together.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      I LOVE tango electronica as well. Do you like Gotan Project? Who do you listen to?

      • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ Andi Perullo

        Si! Definitely Gotan (they are the best). Also love Bajofondo. :)

        In a message dated 11/10/2010 6:05:50 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
        writes:

        Michael wrote, in response to GlobalButterfly:

        I LOVE tango electronica as well. Do you like Gotan Project? Who do you
        listen to?

        Link to comment: http://disq.us/rhkn0

        • http://www.transcendentalgypsy.com/ Transcendental Gypsy

          tango electronica <3

  • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ Andi Perullo

    I so didn’t know you were a DJ! I’m obsessed with tango electronica. Love it! I think music and travel definitely go together.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      I LOVE tango electronica as well. Do you like Gotan Project? Who do you listen to?

      • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ Andi Perullo

        Si! Definitely Gotan (they are the best). Also love Bajofondo. :)

        In a message dated 11/10/2010 6:05:50 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
        writes:

        Michael wrote, in response to GlobalButterfly:

        I LOVE tango electronica as well. Do you like Gotan Project? Who do you
        listen to?

        Link to comment: http://disq.us/rhkn0

        • http://www.thatspunglishgirl.com/ goteresago

          tango electronica <3

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com Steph

    I think this post needs a video of your karaoke skills

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      My wonderful voice will be too much. I don’t want to show off or anything. Heh

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com Steph

    I think this post needs a video of your karaoke skills

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      My wonderful voice will be too much. I don’t want to show off or anything. Heh

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      My wonderful voice will be too much. I don’t want to show off or anything. Heh

  • http://www.transcendentalgypsy.com/ Transcendental Gypsy

    Music is just one of those universal things that unite everyone. Love this post. A song, or even a sound can just bring you back to an experience or sight. Love how music just spiritually connects to the human mind. I don’t think I could ever travel without music…

  • http://www.thatspunglishgirl.com/ goteresago

    Music is just one of those universal things that unite everyone. Love this post. A song, or even a sound can just bring you back to an experience or sight. Love how music just spiritually connects to the human mind. I don’t think I could ever travel without music…

  • http://fastforwardacademy.com/index-page-irs-enrolled-agent-exam-course.htm enrolled agent course

    It was music that introduced me to travelling. I am a fan of Taiwanese music and made a goal to travel to Taiwan. Since my first trip I haven’t stopped going to places and experience the local music.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      That’s awesome! Very interesting. I don’t think I’ve heard Taiwanese music before. I’ll have to go on a search.

  • http://fastforwardacademy.com/index-page-irs-enrolled-agent-exam-course.htm enrolled agent course

    It was music that introduced me to travelling. I am a fan of Taiwanese music and made a goal to travel to Taiwan. Since my first trip I haven’t stopped going to places and experience the local music.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      That’s awesome! Very interesting. I don’t think I’ve heard Taiwanese music before. I’ll have to go on a search.