When was the last time you listened to music? I mean really listened to music. Not had it on in the background while struggling through traffic or left some unremarkable elevator-worthy noise playing while having a few drinks with friends. I’m talking about listening. Sitting down, closing your eyes and letting a symphony of sounds carry you away to another place.
I’ll admit, with the hustle and bustle of daily life, it can be difficult to find the time, or even to think of it as a worthwhile endeavor. In fact, we could all probably count on one hand how often we’ve ever just let go and allowed ourselves to be swept away with the sheer art of music.
A couple of nights ago I had one such experience. It had been a long day. I had a creative spark fizzling away in the pit of my stomach but lacked the energy to set it alight. Instead, I turned to YouTube, closed my eyes and watched the sound of music light me up like a firework. I let my consciousness drift away on a cloud of someone else’s emotion and wrapped myself in the cloak of another soul’s highs and lows, rises and falls, sounds and silences. The melancholic sensation of being inherently connected to someone else, someone you’ve never met, simply through their musical expression. The tap of a piano key. The inhale before the break of silence.
It’s very rare to come across musicians who can truly transport you with their pieces but, when they do, it can change how you see and hear music entirely. Even if just for a moment.You can see the emotion and soul being poured from musician into music. From poet into poem. From artist into art.
On that note (pun intended), I’ll leave you with this. The genius that is Hugh Laurie playing ‘St. James Infirmary’. And I’ll ask just one favour of you. Find a quiet space, close your eyes and just listen….