April 28, 2010

The Attraction List

Below is a list I recently made of some of the many reasons why I have been attracted to music over my lifetime…or realized someone else was. There are undoubtedly an infinite number of additional possibilities….

You have been soothed with a lullaby

You have awoken and now have the need to be excited

You are very young and a song calls up an odd emotion you can not name, much like a vegetable that you dislike

An exceptional television theme is worth humming

Your parents’ favorite music produces an ennui you can’t describe; you feel cold and austere like a cloudy day

Someone older than you plays a record at a key moment and you will never forget it

You feel rebellion

You discover a certain music and feel possessive of it

You heard a song when that cute girl/boy agreed to dance with you. You are correct that it was an amazing song to begin with

You have the need to define your identity…and what others are not

New trends and fashions emerge among your friends and disturb you

New trends and fashions emerge among your friends and excite you

You are willing to lead or follow but you will never get out of the way

The singers and/or guitarists of your favorite bands also possess interesting personalities; you like hearing them talk almost as much as you like their music

You have experienced the potential embarrassment of liking the “wrong” socially accepted music

Deep inside you is a message that already exists. An exceptional musician, possibly you, has been preparing to open that message and you are destined to experience it

You don’t know how some musicians do that thing they do. The duration of mystery increases with value over time

You listen to music with an appealing power to offend older people, as well as those your age that don’t get it, (and you don’t want them to)

Appealing to a darker side, you experience a private period of comforting seclusion

You have worked hard at work or school and the need to be entertained is now a quantifiable requirement

Driving a car, feeling the pace and experience of traveling, you find a music that traces the romance of a new place

You guess what will be corny and what will be classic years from now. You compare notes to yourself in 30-40 years

You like hearing music while you work. You choose the station but begin to feel the music on the radio was chosen for you

You play an album or group of songs every single day and then slowly grow out of that ritual

You noticed some time ago that you like music better and more deeply if it takes a little while to discover

You are disheartened to learn that music is so tangible that its dissemination can be directed by simple honesty, commerce or mafia-like violence

A recent sound is more refined than the last thing you enjoyed. You are basically powerless for the next 5 minutes. You then return to your tuna sandwich

A sudden change in context imparts a new listening experience for music with which you are already familiar

Someone plays a song you love rather poorly, and yet for that reason you notice some intrinsic element of excellence that you hadn’t previously appreciated

You like hearing music while you work. There are disputes over what kind of music to work to, so you consider leading the process and then decide to stay out of it

Your mind wanders to slaves in the fields and then Egyptian laborers whose music you will never hear. Why did they choose that rhythm, that melody? It makes perfect sense

Musicians that were oppressed and made to remain silent exist far away from your free world. Perhaps they composed silent songs. Someday someone will imagine and record that music

As an adult you are startled by a young child’s ability to make up a song to a live musician’s spontaneous playing

You feel a sheepishly functional swell of emotion during anthems, both political and non-political

In neighborhoods you do not live in, culture and tradition clash with a new generation. As the fight rages, you are duplicitously grateful for both armies

You enjoy some guilty pleasures, and are pleased nothing is stopping you

You hum a song that everyone loves at that moment, indulging in a simultaneous national or world experience

Curious…where did this new music come from? Tomorrow I might remember it as if it was always familiar

You no longer like hearing music while you work unless you are alone and can enjoy what you really like

You listen to Spiritual and holy music, relishing the need for music in a church you don’t attend

You realize that music can be a conduit to a higher level, perhaps in leaps or very gradual steps

Your long-held opinions are both confirmed and wholly revised by a change in the primary actors of your life

You are comforted by an implied musical message that someone is like you, these are your people, and there are millions like you out there

You are comforted by an implied musical message that you are fairly rare and yet not alone, for this is being heard by at least a few more

You experience a faint but consistent Déjà vu when you hear some type of music that has nothing to do with your race, culture, or time period

You discover that self-described tone-deaf people with no apparent rhythmic abilities and little education can reveal something critically valued about music you didn’t know

As you fall asleep to what is effectively your favorite lullaby, you glimpse what you can never explain

1 comment:

Carmen Borgia said...

You hear a song that you have loathed for years, performed by a new group, and you sheepishly realize that the song is actually quite good.