I love music. I played the organ, the sax and guitar when I was younger. I used to be able to read the black and white notes, lines, symbols and numbers without hesitation. I memorized the words to songs without trying (now if I could only sing on key it would be nice) and absorbed rhythm with my body when I danced.
Music has another power over me. It can send me back in time to a specific moment. I can recall with telescopic clarity what I listened to during specific times in my life. I remember, as a toddler, when my mother played Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkle in our apartment how I would run from whatever room I was in, to the living room and do my little circle dance. I remember how the dance made me happy. I remember liking how the the red velvet drapes in the room looked swirling in my vision. I can recall the stiff carpet under my feet and how I couldn’t sit still when that beat vibrated through the air. I was compelled to dance. I knew the words but didn’t understand them. I just felt the happy beat, the sound of clapping hands and the simple sounds of the music. I feel joy to this day when I hear Cecilia. I still want to dance.
I have the opposite reaction to Celebration by Kool and the Gang. I had a dance routine to that song. When I hear the first horns and guitars playing the iconic party song, I automatically count to eight (as in five, six seven eight- dancers counts) and my body wants to repeat the routine I danced for years: one, two, leap, step, leap, step, turn. One and two three and four five six seven eight. Which probably means nothing to you, but to me it is a series of dance steps. My dance academy wore silver leggings and a silver half tank top with long white finges for the dance. The outfit made me cringe then and remembering it now elicits the same reaction. That song is on my NEVER play list!
The songs go on and on. Music is evocative. John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Depech Mode, Jamiroquai, Anjulie, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Alanis Morissette, Motzart, Jonathan Goldman, Sting, Pitbull, Third Eye Blind, Incubus, Duran Duran, Genesis- the soundtrack to memories is as long as my life. Music for the years and decades. Music for personal highs and lows. I use it now to help guide my mood when I write.
I play Mozart and gongs and crystal bowl to help remove my conscious mind form what I’m doing and open up a gateway to my higher self and my creativity. Some days it works, others not so much. I use music to tap into an emotion that I want a character to experience. I’ll play a song that triggers a specific sense memory .iTunes makes jumping around easy and I love it. I can go from Joydrop’s Beautiful to a soft ballad. My Playlists are full of memories, their songs bring back old hurts and broken hearts, others remind me of Egypt, being wicked, or laughing.
Music is an amazing gift. I’m glad I have it. I’m glad I’ve shared it with you.
Rest in Peace Donna Summer. I danced to your music with my mother in the living room and sang Heaven Knows while I skied down mountains. The rhythm kept me moving and the words, I believed, were a prayer- as in heaven knows I should crash and hurt myself.