Friday, September 2, 2011

On the Island of Atmosphere

Yeah, another blog post, and only a few minutes later after the last one. What can I say? When it rains, it pours. :)

Always wonder why some people are more finely attuned to atmosphere and its effects than other people? I have. :)

I think there are several factors at work: Upbringing, cultural factors, creativity, sensitivity, genetics, and the wiring of the human brain itself.

I grew up in a household where music was everywhere, and in my own specific culture, music was a central part of our specific community as well. I learned to sing certain melodies as a child, and their cadences and rhythms have stuck with me through the years. My mom also played music to me when I was in the womb. So, maybe that's why I like a lot of music from the sixties. LOL.

Then, came the seventies and the eighties of my childhood and early teens, and that formed me as well. And to be honest, sometimes I find myself even enjoying songs that I disliked as a kid. Now that the songs have become dusted over with age, they seem to hold more appeal. That's the strangest phenomenon, don't you think? Of course, part of that has to do with nostalgia, but also sometimes we re-examine our musical tastes, and find that, as we look back on these songs, we now have a newfound appreciation for them. They can even hold new meanings for us in hindsight. And, if our musical tastes expand later on in life, which they hopefully will do (!), this can also explain our new embrace of these formerly disliked tunes. Now, we've hopefully come to appreciate so much more music and also a much wider range of music, so I guess it's not that unusual for this to happen.

Of course, musical tastes are largely formed by memories and the associations we make with those songs from an early age. Then they hopefully expand and morph into new planes, new genres, and new ways of thinking about music in general.

Some people are more apt to stay at fixed points in their musical tastes, and well, let's not mince words here, also their musical development. ;) You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones who only listen to classic rock or are stuck in the eighties. ;)  Needless to say, while I might be able to relate to them in general as human beings, I don't really relate very well to these souls on a musical level. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I'm just being honest.

Whatever decades of music people have embraced, there's no denying its effect. It can completely alter the way we move through the world. It can affect our attitudes and sometimes even alter our philosophies and belief systems. Yes, it does have that kind of immense power, even if it might not be consciously realized at the time. The music does its work, and we respond in ways we might not yet even completely understand.

And this is what I love so much about it. It has the power to help our minds to grow and evolve. This has been proven on a scientific level, but we really don't even need to be told this, because intuitively we know this to be true. We can feel its effects in so many different ways.

I am one of those souls who is deeply affected by music, that is, if I so choose to give into it at any given moment. One of things I love the most about listening to music is enveloping myself in its atmosphere. Sometimes I like to just bathe in the pure emotion of it all. The music creates the mood (or enhances the mood I'm already feeling), and I just let its waves flow and wash over me in a wide swath. That effect can be like a small ripple or a tidal wave, depending on how much I want to respond to that energy and mood. Sometimes I want to deeply connect with the meaning of a song and let its every aspect seep into my pores while other times I tend to just want to hear something catchy without getting too deep into the mood or lyrics of the song.

I'm a musician, and even though I do sing, I tend to be focused on the music more than the lyrics. That's what I find overtakes me the most. Sure, lyrics can be powerful, and I'm not denying that fact, but for me, it's all about the music itself. The melodies, harmonies, background sounds, the blips and beeps, the thrashing guitars, the whoops and the screams and the guttural growls, the soft incantations of sound, the pulsing throbs of bass and beats, the riveting drums that strike right into the heart of me, etc. It's all about the way the music makes me feel. It taps into a deep reservoir in that nonverbal space of my mind. That private zone where I can just give into my emotions without anyone even knowing. :)

1 comment:

  1. I have a pseudo-scientific pet theory about how music interacts with what you might call brain waves, reinforcing some and interfering with others. Almost certainly untrue in any real sense, but I love the idea of music (and art in general) being this quirk of behaviour that just emerges from a mind given the right environment. It's not something that's been hard-wired into the brain like, say, language has.