9/28/12

Rhythm is gonna get ya

I love music so, this week's Pod Club pick (it's not too late to join in, we - Rachael and I - like new members) caused me to have so many thoughts and feelings I don't really even know where to start.

I used to think that everyone felt the same way I do about music, that life would feel empty without it, but then, at some point, I realized not everyone does. I realized that some people will look at me as if I'm a crazy person when I start talking about my love for this song, or that artist, and then I have to trail off and find something more dull to talk about. But, today this whole post gets to be about music and there is no one to stop me from saying anything or everything I want to.

Music is able to touch something in me deeper than words alone, it can make me feel connected and less alone even when I'm by myself. Songs can heighten my happiness, get me pumped up, make me feel sexy, strong, peaceful...well you get the idea. But they can also have a very negative effect on me as well, which is why I don't listen to any of that angry screamy type music or rap because most of it can leave me feeling anxious, angry, and irritated. So for me, the statement that "music is auditory cheesecake" -Steven Pinker was offensive. Music is not secondary to language, it isn't just the dessert part of the meal, something you can wave away if you've eaten too much; no, it's much more than that. It can say things that words alone can not and I would never ever wave it away.

I don't know how many times I've wanted to send a song to someone to express exactly how I was feeling because not only did someone else say exactly what I was feeling but they set it to music and made it sound amazing.
On a side note, in high school I would do exactly that whenever I had my poor little heart broken. Except I didn't send the song so much as I would just write out all the lyrics to the song and then present them to the boy who had wronged me. I was sure that someone it would shame him into feeling some sort of guilt and sorrow over what he'd done. Now that I'm older, I'm pretty sure all 
it did was make him feel glad that he'd broken up with me in the first place. Live and learn.
I use music all the time in my regular, everyday life to enhance or change my mood. What else can do that? Is there anything else as capable as music at this job? I don't believe so, I am fully addicted to music, I am in love with it, it's always been there for me; I fully intend to keep and grow my addiction through the end of time. I think that's maybe why this video was so moving and made me decide that should I make it to an age where I can't remember much I want music in my ears at all times. I know that music can instantly pull me to a certain time or place, it can recall emotions and people, no matter how long it's been since I've heard a song the memory associated with it is always there just waiting to be picked up and remembered. Sometimes the memories are painful but most of the time the remembering is welcomed and fun and even better than looking at a photo-album. At the end of this post I am going to include a long list of songs and the memories they evoke for me, that way if you are even in charge of choosing the music I listen to as an old lady you'll know what to pick and what to stay away from. You'll be controlling my emotions, you'll be so powerful. 

I am a lyrics person, I don't often listen to music that is strictly instrumental which isn't to say that I don't enjoy classical music because I do but it's really hard to sing a long to. I used to listen to Yanni every night before going to bed and I'm pretty sure if someone started playing it randomly I would be asleep within the first two songs. One time I took a class on the arts and a professional cello player came in and spoke to us about the power of music and then he suddenly started playing, without warning my eyes filled with tears. I put my head down and let the music do it's magic, I went along for the ride and then tried to clear my eyes when he was finished. I was sitting in the back of the class so I'm pretty sure I got to keep this moment to myself, I will never forget the way that one man could make that one instrument move me to tears with just the sheer beauty of sound. Something definitely beyond words.

I use music all the time, not just for personal use but it's also how I make my living. I teach dance, without music my movement would mean nothing, I would have no inspiration, no where to start from. To say that music moves me is an understatement. I anguish over my song choices every time I choreograph something new because I need the right song at the right time to get the right message across, to do my job right, and to hopefully inspire other dancers to listen to music closely and carefully and then learn from it. I hope to teach my dancers more than just moves I also hope to teach them about the power that music can have if you really listen to what it's saying.
Here's another related side story, a few years ago while going through another painful break-up I
 chose to choreograph and teach to an Adele song that spoke the words I was feeling. It felt so amazing to dance it out but then, seemingly out of no where, during one of the run-throughs with music I started bawling. Not just pretty little tears sliding down my face, no, it was the kind where I could barely catch my breath I was sobbing and making loud gulping/gasping sounds right there in front of my class. I danced my feelings right out of me and into the world where everyone could see them. It would not have been possible without the song, without the words, without the music.
Everyone goes through break-ups, triumphs, loneliness, anger, defeat...(again, you get it) and there are songs to express those things. I am going to wrap up this portion of my post with another video:

After watching this if you still have doubts about the power of music you should let me know so that I come over to your house and check to see if you have a heart. 


***Okay, here is where I was going to start my list of songs and the emotions/memories tied to them but I ran out of time to get to them before I have to leave for the day. I won't be home until pretty late and I'm not sure I'll feel like writing more tonight. So, I'm going to post this and then hopefully by tomorrow I'll write a separate post with all my songs on it, cause I know you're dying to hear about them.

1 comment:

... said...

well shoot...just like a song builds and builds you had me all pumped up for that list and now what? no outlet! when does the Bass line come back in?