Thursday, January 26, 2006

Music Musings

Music brings me back to my past - back to the place I was, physically, mentally and spiritually when that song became meaningful to me. When I listen to "Nothing Else Matters" and close my eyes, I'm back in my final year of high school at Model U.N. When I listen to my CD, "In the Midst of Angels", it's Christmas time in my last year of university and I'm doing readings for my History Independent Study in my father's living room, as snow gently falls outside and my stepsisters play Nintendo. When I hear, well, anything from Pearl Jam's "Ten" , it brings me back to that dark period in grade 11 when I thought I was going to kill myself.

It can also get more complex than that. Songs can have layers of significance that build up over time - like an archaeologist's tel - a mountain made of a lifetime's worth of meaning. "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel reminds me of grade seven, when my best friends bought me his greatest hits for my birthday, but also of the period when my husband and I were engaged - it's now one of "our songs".

It's also related to genre. Different types of music make me think of and feel different things. Classical music gives me a "university feeling". "Chick music", like Sarah McLaughlan or Anna Nalick, makes me want to be a singer. Bon Jovi (the slow stuff) makes me want to write songs/poetry. Carlebach makes me dance, and '90s "alternative grunge scene" makes me feel rebellious and defiant.

I guess this means that I can really tap into my subconscious, through music. I can manipulate myself if I want by putting myself into different "moods". I can engineer my own success or failure, by merely pulling the right strings. If I should be cooking or cleaning, well, I'll listen to Jazz. And if I feel I need some time to myself, I can listen to nature sounds. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll turn on some Bon Jovi.


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