Sunday, June 29, 2008
Don't leave me out!
A painting, a word, a song...art speaks to us and makes us feel things in a way that nothing else can. Music is a universal language. If you only speak English but hear a song in Spanish, it can still affect you. The blend of instruments with voice is a powerful device that can flip a switch inside of us.
When I'm depressed, music cheers me up better than any happy pill. I'll turn up the music and dance around the house as I'm cleaning. It pushes me to finish that last rep or that last mile on the treadmill. But it can also lock you into that depression if you listen to a sad song. Some say music makes you kill (sorry but I think if you're going to do that, you don't need music to make you).
My art is with words, but I've often wished I could make music. Music is an art that is more widely accepted, and appreciated. I don't know anyone who doesn't sing to the radio and karaoke is a huge thing for a reason, though I do know people who don't really listen to music. It can annoy and exasperate, gratify and entertain. It speaks to us on a deep level. Looking at a painting can bring these feelings out, but there's just something about music. I turn on my mp3 player when I'm writing and there is always a song that matches the emotion I need for the particular scene I'm working on.
Good singers use their emotion. Guitarists or drummers or pianist or fiddlers etc etc use their emotion but put it into the instrument they are playing. When I play RockBand, I feel, for a little while, that I am helping to create that song. Even though it isn't a real instrument, I have a lot of fun tapping on the drumset and drumming up a powerful feeling within me. Being a part of something, creating a song. That game is as close as I'll ever get since I don't play a musical instrument. I can match and hold a note, but I'll never be good enough to actually do anything other than sing to the radio.
Music is like writing in that each author has a voice. I can recognize any song from certain bands that I have come to love just by their voice and their style. Today I want to give a shout out to LEFT OUT. A friend I've known since 2nd grade is married to the singer/guitarist, so I'm highly supportive of them and love their stuff. I just got their next album (before it was released!!!!) and am happily drinking my coffee and listening to it. I don't have the album cover to post, but the one above is from their last album, which is just as good. And if you don't know how good, well here's a video of my book trailer with their song, RUST.
(Well, for some reason I can't find my saved version on my computer. Argh!)