What is music? Literally? It’s sound waves. It’s air pressure by which the mechanisms of our hearing systems function. It’s wavelengths and frequencies. It’s a part of our environment. It’s a part of the noise of every day life. It’s something completely normal and, almost, expected. So, I have to ask: do we take it for granted? Stop and ask yourself what your life would be like without the ability to hear. If that’s too extreme stop and ask yourself what it would be like without music. Does music contribute this sense of meaning of your life? Do you regard it with the same intense appreciation as you do other things in your life? If you don’t, you should.
Literal definitions aside, music—the true essence of music—cannot be captured with mere words. It can’t be explained in black and white, sitting in the middle of a page, in the “m” section of a dictionary. It simply can’t. Music captures emotions we—as rationalizing, logical beings—cannot rationalize or make logic of. It touches those emotions deep down inside of us that only come out when something truly resonates with us. Music has this natural ability to reach down inside of us and pull out things we instinctively keep hidden in the dark, depths of our souls: our fears, our vulnerabilities, our regrets, our desires, our dreams, and our secrets. It shatters through any defense mechanisms we might harbor and forces us to confront the people we truly are. It shows us who we are and shows us who we can be. It gives us a tiny, luminous glimpse into our respective “what if’s?”.
Hidden within those peaks and valleys of sound is something greater than you or I. It’s a piece of creative soul. It’s a gift, given to you in the form of a song. It’s a message waiting to be heard. It’s a small amount of concentrated matter that makes up the metaphysical. It’s the essence of life, of beauty, of creativity. Riding the waves of a harmony, bumping up against masterfully-placed mountains of sound, there’s something just begging to be found.
Finding it is the hard part. People always tell me, “You’re crazy. You’re looking for something that simply isn’t there.” Maybe I am. Maybe music is just sound waves. Maybe it’s just something to entertain the masses, keep them occupied, distract them from the boredom of everyday life. But I’d be lying if I said I believed that. Experiencing music is more than just being a passive listener of sound. It’s participating in a sort of game. Hide and seek? Perhaps. It’s actively seeking out an outstretched hand, ready to pull you into a song, prepared to take you in it’s arms and dance with you until your feet can’t take it anymore.. at which point these hands will just carry you the rest of the way. Carry you to places you’ve never seen before. Show you things so beautiful it’s almost unbearable. Setting every nerve in your body on fire. Sending a wave of electricity through your limbs. Opening up your soul and letting all those unspoken, hidden emotions and dreams spill out in front of you.
One hasn’t lived until one has experienced music.
Are you experienced?