Power of Music

by talkbackty on Jul 17, 2011

Let me begin by saying that I am not a musician.  Not by any stretch of the imagination. The reason I host a podcast instead of being in a band is because I have no musical abilities whatsoever. But hey, at least I can talk for an hour and change every week.

I love music though.

I go through phases when I love it more than others. I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile by any means. Although, I do find it odd that we have technology today that can make songs sound more beautiful than ever and yet our culture is obsessed with jamming as much music as possible per kilobyte. Let the songs breathe everyone.

Sorry. Tangent. Let's get back on track.

I'm listening to Pink Floyd as I write this. They are amazing. Thanks Jacqui for reminding me of their awesomeness.

I imagine that people's taste in music is generally the same: you either like it or you don't. You probably don't know why you like something. Most of us, who aren't musicians, never know enough about music to be able to explain why we like something. Which is strange because music is something that is normally essential to a culture. If not music, then at the very least art. I guess you could throw in a few none art-related things to define culture...but why would you?

To me music is one of the most powerful ways to communicate. How else can you describe utter sadness, pure joy, or spiritual enlightenment. Words, regardless of language, normally fall short. Music has a way of transcending what we can say and hitting instead at what we feel. Then one person can share how they feel with another.

Despite this our society is putting art on the back burner. Funding keeps getting cut in schools. The business world owns the music labels and is only interested in turning a profit. None of this has stopped music, of course. YouTube is filled with thousands upon thousands of supremely talented musicians Every day someone records a piece of music that is truly great and uploads it for the world to hear. Art keeps surviving; some would even say thriving.

Here are some of my favorite songs. I'll write a little bit about why I like each, but for the most part you can feel free to listen.

Fredric Chopin's Prelude in E Minor

I think I first fell in love with this song while I was watching an episode of The West Wing. It's incredibly moving. Apparently simple but terribly complex. It's all about the timing; which is something I could never pick up while playing the piano.
Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah

Also a West Wing song. If it comes on at the right time I tear up. It's unavoidable. It's hauntingly beautiful. I think I can say without a doubt that it's my favorite song. At any given moment I might say something different, but if I take time to think about it...I always come back to this one.
Pink Floyd's High Hopes (Live in Gdańsk)

Okay to be fair, this was the song playing as I was writing. And yes, I posted this a couple of days ago. I'm high on Pink Floyd right now; get over it. This entire song is amazing, but the back half features a few solos; one on metal strings, the other acoustic; that are quite possibly the most beautiful things ever. That's my take at least.
Howard Shore's Concerning Hobbits

Shore's work on Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece. Whether or not you like the movies, the score is one of the greatest things produced in my generation. Concerning Hobbits is a simple choice because it makes me feel so damn happy. I will literally start skipping, dancing, or just moving whenever I hear this song.

If you're able to listen to the music above, if you are able to read the words I'm writing, if you are able to dance; then you are truly blessed. Too often we forget the simple joys of being alive. We get bogged down in the business of our lives. Don't forget how amazing music is. Or how fantastic it is to be able to laugh and love with the people around you.