The Music Cocoon

24 09 2009

Weather: High: 77º & cloudy. I swear, Weather Gods, you’re getting to be a broken record. I can haz 60s nao pls???

So, as you can tell from the subject line, I’m gonna wax verbosely about music AGAIN. Can’t help it folks, it’s an obsession.

As I’ve gotten older, I’m finding myself less inclined to get defensive over the music I listen to or the bands I happen to like. Not that I ever really did, mind you.  I do find, however, that I’m getting a little more easily annoyed with critics who dismiss a popular band out of hand, merely for their popularity, while trumpeting about an obscure band, merely because of their obscurity.

Music for me is always about personal taste. I honestly don’t believe anyone’s tastes trumps anyone else’s. I absolutely think that people can recommend or dismiss bands based on their personal opinion, but for anyone to state that their taste somehow supersedes all others because they can quote music theory chapter and verse? Well, they’re missing the point.

Music is not something that fits into neat little boxes.
It’s personal. It’s emotional. And therefore what resonates with one person will not resonate with another. As in most art, what music resonates for you will be what speaks to your heart, your philosophy, your culture and your experience. Joe Critic doesn’t have access to your take on those things, so his opinion, even if well informed, doesn’t have to proscribe your musical tastes or be a cause for defensiveness about what bands you follow.

My music library spans most genres, and probably contains at least 50% content that most people would describe as “guilty pleasures”.  I find that most music I listen to with any kind of frequency resonates on an emotional level for me.

When I talk about the music cocoon, I’m talking about that headspace where the music envelopes you and creates an atmosphere that completely blots out everything else.  It has little to do with volume, though loud is sometimes a good thing. 😉 It has little to do with complexity, because sometimes a simple piano ballad, if well done, can be as overwhelming as a full string section and layered harmonies.

Music is one of the few pure forms of escapism we have. It can transport you, raise your mood, give you energy, relax you or help you fall in love. It’s the literal soundtrack of our lives. Never apologize for what you listen to, and definitely never let anyone dictate what your tastes should be. You can always expand your listening horizons. Never contract them.

I love rock music as much as I love classical. And I love techno, industrial, classic rock, jazz, musicals, R&B and about every subgenre in between.  I’m a song person, rather than a band or album person, though I do have some bands that have earned my unwavering loyalty. (I’ve been a Depeche Mode fan for 25+ years!)

Ultimately, music informs pretty much every word I write in some way. I have writing mixes for particular stories and particular characters. Music molds my writing. Permeates it in a very specific way. Because I write visually, every scene plays out like a movie in my head. And all movies need music. 🙂

Music is a cocoon. Something you can wrap yourself in, lose yourself for a while, and emerge as a changed person. It’s up to you whether you allow yourself the experience and how deeply.

So excuse me. Gonna go wrap myself up in some quirky prog rock with side dish of dark alt rock and commiserate with my muses.  🙂

—————-
Now playing: Muse – I Belong To You/Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix
via FoxyTunes

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