What's your relationship to #music?
Are you a casual listener? Do you find yourself engrossed in songs?
Are you simply content with whatever the radio is currently playing? Or do you have an eclectically curated music library ranging everywhere from Tupac to Beethoven with a bit of Sinatra, Dion, and Squirrel Nut Zippers in there for safe measure, each song downloaded specifically for a frame of mind you were in or a way you were feeling at the moment?
How do you listen? Are you an OEM car stereo listener? Ear buds maybe? Do you have a top of the line home theater system which accentuates the highs while driving the bass straight to the very core of who you are as a person?
When was the last time a song made you truly feel something? Laugh, cry, introspectively soul search. Not necessarily because of the lyrical makeup of the work, although that's a good enough reason also (looking at you #SarahMclaughlin, you magnificent, dog loving, heart string tugging wench 🤣), but simply because the composition was so beautiful, so intricately presented, it was as if you could feel exactly what the artist was feeling when they birthed the music. The exquisite joy, the deep sorrow (yeah you #RogerWaters. #Anisina rips me apart every time I listen. I can really feel that pain), the artist translating the experience as they slog through the banality of everyday life.
Have you ever tried secluding yourself from all of the distractions in your everyday life, rifling through your music library to find that perfect song, the one that hits all of your switches, tuning out the world and just bathing in the sheer brilliance of what that artist is conveying to you?
I was sitting on the beach while writing this. Calm waves rhythmically lapped onto the shore, composing their own beautiful secret music. A bright white disc shone in the sky above, accented by a backdrop of glittering diamond chips, each one an impossibly distant, furiously burning ball of life and inexplicable beauty. Already soaring on the melody of the waves, I was listening to Trey Anastasio use his unbelievable dexterity as he emotionally poured himself out through his guitar strings. It really got me thinking about how I connect to music.
When I was a kid I had two therapists in my life. One was named #FredDurst (I know, please forgive that, I've evolved since and believe what you may but #LimpBizkit was the absolute rage in the 90's. #threedollarbillyall was/is one of my favorite albums), the other was Jonathan Davis (#Korn is still a staple of my iTunes library) . Though my parents definitely didn't approve, their music was the perfect vehicle for all of my teenage angst. No matter how tough my day was, no matter how bad I thought things were in life, I knew I could always depend on Fred to help me scream about how #counterfeit people seemed to be. Jonathan helped me navigate all those crazy #chutesandladders of young life.
As I've grown physically, emotionally, and musically, I've come to appreciate a more instrumental influence in my life. The free form rhythmic explorative stylings of a solid jam band (#Phish, #Moe, #WidespreadPanic) paired with the right setting is equivalent to the most nirvanic of experiences. I would be remiss here if I wrote this and didn't mention my affinity for powerful female vocalists. I've been near infatuated with #AmyLee since the first time her intoxicatingly haunted voice quite literally pierced my soul.
A good song, a strong performance, a properly performed instrumental, if heard the way it was intended is akin to a spiritual cleansing. If heard properly, you can feel it resonate in your molecules, you can feel it vibrate in your vitreous. Music can take you on an escapist journey from reality. The next time you have a rough day, a tough afternoon, an awkward interaction, allow yourself some time to sit down and immerse yourself and see if you feel something.
On an unrelated note, I'll be looking for a new job in the next couple of years. I feel like I saw a job ad somewhere recently that was looking for someone to sit in a field, possibly at a concert or music festival, and listen to sweet jams while hanging out. I think the pay was like $80K or something like that. If you guys see that opening, can you point me in that direction 🤣.
Expand my musical horizons, what's your favorite song and how do you hear/feel it?