I was driving along in my car today. With music blaring, I found myself away from everywhere I didn’t wish to be. Moments went by and before I could really appreciate where the song had taken me, I found myself in the middle of an intersection with cars tooting their horns in an effort to remind me of my careless driving. I had run a red light. Was it my fault? Yes. Did I care? No.?My main concern was that I’d been swept from my thoughts, which are almost exclusively inhabited by music. The startling realisation of not knowing who you are or where you are anymore is something most people might encounter upon the demise of a marriage or when they lose a loved one, but I encounter this every time I’m not consumed by music. It is the only thing that really makes me happy and content. In saying this, given music’s capacity to make me quite cavalier about day to day things, it may seemingly be what kills me, but what a heavenly way to die.
Music has always been who I am, right from when my dad played me his Neil Young and Roy Orbison records. I’ll never forget the first album he bought me. It was Silverchair’s ‘Frogstomp’. I think even as a five year old, hearing these songs and learning that music could exhume such grit and disdain, yet with such purity and heart, made me want to be able to recreate and generate the same passion. My thoughts are that few other things in this world can warm your heart and fill your life with such contentment.
I listen to mostly death metal and gangster rap, which is rather dissimilar to the music I create. The reason I think I’m drawn to metal and gangster rap is because, despite the questionable legitimacy of the content, both genres are fuelled by intensity, aggression and a ‘live every day like it’s your last’ mentality, which make my mind and soul feel the crunch of something powerful and truthful in that I really feel alive when I’m listening to it.?As well as listening to some of the amazing, soul shaping artists like Johnny Cash, Neil Young and Jeff Buckley in amidst the singer/songwriter greats, I find myself absolutely falling in love with Dallas Green, also known as City & Colour, every time I listen to him. His voice is angelic and I feel like his songs were written for my own reassurance that everything’s going to be okay.
Just as I can’t imagine a world without Dallas Green, I cannot even begin to imagine the possibility of a world without music. I hope it never comes to this, and to be honest, I don’t think it ever will. The reason is simple. It’s universal. It’s a bonding mechanism. It exists on an exclusively personal level as well as on a completely superficial, expansive level which helps bring people together. For the most part, I dislike people. However, knowing that musical influence and the love, support and ever growing creative birth of music is and has been derived from human inspiration, I tend to forgive man’s shortcomings just a little bit.
I don’t think the implications of not valuing music concern me as much as they should, because I know that deep down it’s something that I personally will always value more than my own well being. However, if nonchalance of others towards music does ultimately extinguish the musical flame, then of course, I would be devastated. I think though, as long as everybody can appreciate the music they like on a personal level and support the artists they love as much as they can, music will live beyond me, my family, and anyone else who is reading this. So, even if you like just one artist, I would encourage you to support them as much as you possibly can.
I once saw a sign saying ‘Music is who I am, everything else is what I do’. I feel that it’s important people value music, because as far as I’m aware, music is the world, everything else is just what happens. Help make sure music IS the world and not just what happens.