What does music mean to you? I find that most people can relate certain periods of their life to specific songs, sounds and melodies. That every sequence of notes somehow plays out a little story in our head. Every guitar riff, every beat of the drum, every lyric and every haunting chorus can transport you right back to a day, a year, or a memory.
Music is a big deal to me. A very big deal. It always has been and hopefully it always will be. It started with my dad. He always had music playing as a child and I can remember running around the backyard in the summertime listening to John Fogerty and the Flashdance Soundtrack. He, my older brother and practically every boy I have ever dated have played endless music trivia and “Guess The” games with me (Whether I wanted them to or not).
I can hear a song and tell you the singer, if not the name, era and whether or not it’s the original version. Ask my best friend how many original Westlife songs there are – she will tell you hundreds, I will tell you almost none. I can build you a playlist for every phase of life, city I’ve lived in, roommate I’ve had and tell you the first time I heard a song and why I reminisce. Funnily enough, as a girl, I find I often relate more to the lyrics then the sounds – boys focus on instrumentation, beat, tone – girls focus on the mood, the word and the melodic voice.
I did however, find myself turning down the volume, shutting off the radio and getting lost in thought during car rides lately. My apartment was quieter, my song list was shorter and my CD’s were less used (well, obviously). But, this is something that I traditionally never did, this is something that simply isn’t me. I always had my music on the loudest, the longest and evoked the most meaning from what blasted through those speakers. Hell, a roommate threatened to leave because my room was above his and it was the room of choice for blaring Saturday tunes. Each and every time my dad entered my car he was met with a heart-attack-inducing decibel of sound or “racket” as he liked to put it, but that never stopped me. Not much has.
But, not too long ago, a friend who hadn’t driven with me in years got in my car. The first thing she said to me is “Your radio is off, something must be wrong”. How interesting. I know it means a lot to me and I know that I have harassed most in my life to play my CD’s, put up with my playlists, deal with my new instruments and carry the spirit wherever they go…but to know that they (by the way, did you ever wonder who “they” are?) relate it as a piece of me too, means a lot. And you know what? She was right. Something was wrong.
So, now, when I’m deep in thought after a long day at work, worrying about finances, rehearsing a conversation I want to have with my boss…I take a moment to realize there is an eerie silence in my car. I stop, take a deep breath…and crank that knob.
Some of my best friends are hiding there. Not just in my computer, my TV, or my MP3 player. But, in old mixed tapes, disc mans, old stereos, in my car speakers, in movie soundtracks, in old home videos and in my own voice. The Traveling Wilburys, John Lennon, CCR, The Rolling Stones, Serena Ryder, Franki Valli, Bruno Mars, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Blondie, ABBA, Coldplay, Counting Crows, Florence and the Machine, Jay-Z, New Kids on the Block, Mumford and Sons, Pink, Queen, Ray Charles and even the Violent Femmes have always been there for me. Who is there for you?
Music is my religion. – Jimi Hendrix
The Ginga Ninja