Music makes me crazy

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Mental Health
Tags: , , , , , ,

The idea of music corrupting the mind isnt new, they said much the same thing about Mozart in his day and rock music has been blamed for allsorts over the year, I dont really know how I feel about it myself as I can see it from both sides, I use music to moderate my mood and sometimes to psyche myself up but I dont think the music does it alone. I decide what I am trying to get from it and then pick the tunes to get the desired result so its a choice I’m making and therefore not the music but me that makes the decision to act in a particular fashion right?

I was driving along listening to some country music this morning which I like for the poetry that it contains the stories and images it conjures up but it also has a calming effect which can easily turn to melancholia if I let it, but once the upbeat stuff came on I was wired and happy and although I had no idea I wanted to change my mood I did anyway and it changed twice in as many songs, yesterday I was rocking to Guns n Roses old stuff, it was a greatest hits album and I was going through the whole thing, raucous stuff like you could be mine down to the ballads like sweet child o’mine and patience it had no effect on me at all other than to elicit some pleasure at hearing some oldies, there was maybe a bit of nostalgia but that wa it yet the rhythms and pace would be more likely to evoke aggression and excitement than country music wouldnt it?

I watched a programme last week called Iconoclast which pairs so called Icons and sees what they think about each other and how they could inspire each other, this one was about Eddie Veder and Laird Hamilton, one the lead singer of Pearl Jam and the other a legendary surfer, it was a quiet night and I like Eddie so stayed tuned for a while, it was interesting and a bit high brow for a rick musician and a surfer but not bad, at the end there is a pearl jam concert which featured the first part of the song Oceans, just the gentle riff and eddies opening vocals sent chills down my spine, I love the song and have listened to it for years but hearing it live on screen was something else, I dont usually have emotions very often, its my defence mechanism apparently, but in this case it was powerful and instant and I quite liked it, and I think only music has the power to do this to me so easily. Yes I have strong emotions about the regular stuff like my children’s achievements and babys being born etc but to just have a feeling without any outward stimuli is rare and special for me.

As I thought about what music did what I realised it was more to do with the songs than the genre, and by that I mean the tone and subject as much as the rhythm or tempo, I heard on the show I mentioned that Eddie didnt know who his father was until after he died which is the subject of the song Alive, one of my all time favourites now I realise the story is a true one I hear it differently and it has another type of power for me, loads of Nirvana songs do this as I read Kurt’s journals I saw and understood the underlying depth to the words and it changed them for me, I loved them before but now they have meaning to the emotions I felt unbidden before.

In the end music will do whatever it will to everyone differently, one mans concerto is another’s snooze fest but when the tune touches parts you have trouble connecting with normally you have to praise it for what it is, magical.


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