I love such a wide variety of music, it is easy to find something in common with people. I have always believed it amounts to much more than entertainment. It is a fuse and amplifier of emotions. Not solely ours but the very environment embracing us: other mammals, other animals, and plants. I consider home-sticking to a narrow music selection unwise, akin to limiting our emotions. If we are feeling bold, energetic, elated, or soaring there is music that raises us to the highest heights our soul can fathom. Celebratory music, loving music, music that spurs us on, or which sparks memories of something joyous.
There are songs we avoid, in a frame of mind we don’t wish to amplify, or because they clash jarringly with our mood; like peppy melodies if we’re angry or low. However the right airs and verses too, snap us out of unpleasant energy and shift us to a better place. Occasionally, we don’t mind matching darker sentiments in music so we are understood in those moments and vent them out. An “F-U song” to deal with an ex-flame, in lyrics or thrumming rhythm, can be therapeutic. My own friend said her favourite musician saved her from the darkest period of illness.
These are reasons we personally resonate with songs, albums, or musicians at an intensity others don’t. Memories of when music changed, acknowledged feelings, or marked a day truly attach to songs. They absorb those moments and replay the emotions for us when we hear them. This is the psychology, medecine, and magic at the core. Upon the surface, apart from personal associations and vibrations of mood: there are genres we love ahead of other styles and talent we admire.
Some of us are fans of individuals who time and again, inspire what we love about life. We consider it a gift every time they compose a new album or go on tour. When scientists claim mathematics are “the universal language”, I disagree. I am a linguist but comprehend mathematics scarcely. The tone music carries, however, is understood and reacted to… by all. The genres identify who we are, at heart if not in age. The lyrics show where we are, in era or country. United, the complete song is a portrait of every artist who composes it.
“If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” by Olivia Newton-John, 1974, reminds me powerfully of my paternal Grandparents! I was a baby when it came out but it was popular for years and in some store, they picked up the 45 single. They had the huge stereo furniture of their day: those long armoires with space low down inside them and a wide lid that raises open, like a jewellery box. The sound boomed from speakers in the wood and you could store records inside it.
I perused it and was astonished to find Olivia Newton-John. Here were *Grandparents*, fond of western music… and *they* had the 45 of a modern hit? I admired this unexpected side of them and delighted in a song selection suited to me. For a long while, I played that 45 every time we visited their home. Thirty years later, when I hear it, I don’t fail to think of them right away. I had the blessing of seeing Australia’s Olivia perform at last, in 2007.