Culture — July 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Espressos and Jangle Pop


Café Culture & the Appreciation of Music Sitting down to a hot cup of coffee in a relaxed setting is an experience that can best be described as complete. That is the inviolate mandate that we have allowed cafes to exercise over our lives. Not so much plush but intimate environs and that ambrosial beverage that commands and regulates sensory excitation that is completion, at least temporarily. Somewhere along the trajectory of the development of the modern café, someone thought it apt to add live musical accompaniment to the range of services provided by such establishments. This probably has its roots in the tradition of the traveling minstrel or in the death of the jukebox and it has come to pass that the caffeinated nourishment offered by cafes now comes with a soundtrack played in real time by musicians, right before the very eyes of their patrons. The earthy goodness of Arabica beans in my blood and folk in my ears – that’s perfect enjoyment.

The beautiful thing about the place of music in how café culture has come to be manifested in Singapore is that music is not reduced to a mere side dish. While it is undeniable that live music is played before patrons consuming items off the establishment’s menu, music, however, does not share a similar place with fish and chips or scones. The crowd coming for the open mic sessions and organized gigs at a burgeoning number of cafes in Singapore including The Pigeonhole, Ignite Music Café, Timbre@The Substation, Blu Jazz, Hood Bar and Café, Crazy World Café and Broun Café are indicative of a wide and widening appreciation for music among young adults. Also, the fact that these and a large number of other cafes are designed with stages and art spaces is also telling of the preeminent place of music. Land for music? In a Singaporean context, that speaks volumes of how much music is valued.

With time, it is only fitting that we get more and more optimistic about the talent that will be mined and unearthed form the humble, smoky walls and floors of the cafes. It’s a numbers game and, right now, the numbers are in favor of music.

Music. Coming to a café near you.

Photo Credit: The Pigeonhole