the importance of music
"when we hear someone else sing about the jagged edges of heartache or the unspeakable nature of grief, we immediately know we're not the only ones in pain. the transformative power of art is in the sharing. without connection or collective engagement, what we hear is simply a caged song of sorrow and despair; we find no liberation in it. it's the sharing of art that whispers, 'you're not alone.'" - brene brown
"that’s one of the great things about music. you can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons." - dave grohl
"i like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." - tom waits
"after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - aldous huxley
when i was younger, i remember music meaning so much to me. i sang at church, i sang at home, and i always had music rotating on my 5-disc stereo. i played piano for eight years. and before i gave up playing, i wrote my own music.
but even after i gave up playing because i believed i wasn’t good enough (more on this in a later post), i still listened. i would volunteer at concerts, handing out flyers at the door, just for a chance to hear the last 30 minutes of the band. i remember being twelve years old and putting a portable cd-player on layaway at k-mart. i would pay $5 down every week, my allowance at the time, just for the chance to carry my music with me. it was the first “big” purchase i made on my own. i was so proud of that cd-player.
all of my favorite memories involve music.
that’s why i love music so much. because art gets at the truth when you don't have the right words. because that song is your story. and because music communicates something so much deeper than we can communicate on our own. the lyrics, yes, but mostly the melodies. all of my favorite songs are instrumental. i like to define myself by my love of words, but the most beautiful things in life don't need words. that is music.
i know people listen to music for a billion different reasons. which is the beauty of it. but for me, it's one of the very few places i feel completely understood. i feel seen, and known, in good music.
to this day, i tend to have my headphones in all day, listening to my music. i don't listen to podcasts because i don't want to miss the opportunity to listen to my favorite songs. i'm also so exhausted from listening to people talk, but that's another story for another time. i even listen to music when i go to sleep, and it's still on when i wake up in the morning. concerts are still the only place i feel completely and totally like myself, with no care in the world; no worry of who’s watching or what they’re going to think.
i wanted to write a bit about why i love music because i believe it is the most beautiful form of art. and i love that there are so many expressions of it. i love how it's so personal to the artist but so universal at the same time. there is still no better feeling than being at a show where you can lose yourself for a few hours. and when you stand in a room with thousands of people screaming the same lyrics as you - or it's best when the room is rendered silent - it's heartbreaking in the best way, and it’s beautiful and irreplaceable. music has a way of uniting people in a way no other art form can.
i have a playlist on apple music titled "melancholy." and it's full of my favorite songs. mostly, it's full of bon iver, the 1975, and some john mayer. i know there are millions of beautiful songs out there, songs that i very much love, but these are the ones i come back to. i listen to music that makes me feel something. it doesn’t matter what, really. i just want good music to do what it does best.
so i'm sharing my playlist here, with you. i hope you find some songs on here that you love. but i also hope you comment some of your favorite songs, so i can learn something about you. because really that's what music does. it says so much more about ourselves than we even realize. and maybe i'll add your songs to my playlist. :)
consider making a playlist of your music. make multiple playlists for all kinds of feelings. or maybe one for work, one for running, and one for cleaning the house. make a playlist that you turn on when you create. music is powerful. the most powerful. it heals us. it teaches us we are not alone, in our pain or happiness. someone is always there to laugh or cry with us.