Can a song validate your existence? Take Yourself on a Musical Journey
It’s a bit difficult to fully explain.
Each time the crescendo is reached, I can’t help but begin to cry. This song. The artist. They understand me. They fully acknowledge my Being and my existence in this present moment.
Then, just as I’m left with the remnants of a renewed understanding of the importance of my own Being, as enhanced by the feeling of surety in the experience through which I was just led, the music changes to a childlike bell-ringing. So almost as to say, “Worry not, for all is as it should be.”
How can one explain a full-body feeling that lends itself to thoughts that generate information about the why behind a musical score? Certainly this concept has been spoken about before as the mysterious power of music is one that is embedded in our human DNA throughout the eons.
Years ago, when I had first discovered the band Sigur Rós, something became apparent that was immediately different from any band I’d ever “heard”.
A Few Prior Thoughts on Initial Judgement
What is often our first reaction to hearing a song/band/genre that which we are not familiar with?
“It’s interesting.” “I’m not sure I like this.” “This isn’t for me.”
If you’ve read my last article on the impact that becoming our beliefs has on our ability to learn from the world and from others, rather than being off-put by their seemingly-offensive differences, you’ll see the immediacy of the parallel when applied to a potentially musical revelation.
Yes, it’s possible to have your life changed. Improved. Validated. By music.
Stay with me.
Communicating Through Feeling, Not Sound
Step 1: Remain fully open to possibility that there is an element to which I am hearing that I cannot fully comprehend in my current frame of mind.
Step 2: Striving to experience the music for what it is and what it is only, by not passing judgement in thoughts, words, or actions.
For those willing to embark further into this article, I welcome you to a new realm of musical understanding. But, how can I be so sure of myself?
Difference. Of experience.
As a human being, of course we experience music all of the time, and our preferences, reactions, feelings and understandings ebb and flow as we continually develop our tastes. So, the experience in total-body feeling that was had upon listening with my full being to Glósòli by Sigur Rós lends its way to be experienced potentially by another should a similar path be taken as partially described above.
Lastly, in order to create conditions and to give a bit of primer for the mental and physical state required to replicate the experience:
- Volume matters: We can dictate the level to which we experience the song by increasing or decreasing the volume. How often do you play soft classical music in the background while at a high-energy party?
- Intimacy matters: The musical experience we get from wearing headphones vs. earbuds vs. room stereo obviously affects how we perceive music, and so this is also to be figured in.
Feel it in your chest, headphones required
For this experience to be potentially transferred, I’ll ask that headphones are worn to fully encapsulate the experience we’re seeking to create.
Furthermore, the song should be played at a volume that evokes a continual stream of feeling — not too loud, but not too soft either. Any confusion should err on the side of too loud, as it’s important that the physical connection to the music be absolutely emphasized and achieved for maximum potential understanding.
Lastly, remember Step 1 and Step 2 as you venture forth. You’ll be sure to arrive at the single moment in which I speak. It will be unmistakable if you’ve satisfied all conditions presented in those steps and prior.
Go forth, feel, and understand a new level of musical appreciation!