Music has always been a part of me. Some of my earliest memories can dig back to moments where I would barefoot across our family piano to make noise or simply tap my fingers on my school desk to recreate the rhythmic patterns of my mind. I can remember Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam blaring through my older sister’s stereo in the bedroom next to mine. I didn’t completely get it then and I may not get it now, but what I heard was inspiring and began to burn a fire inside me.
I started playing music at an early age, was involved in school band, but felt a greater calling of playing music outside of school structure. Trombone was boring and bothersome and looking back there wasn’t enough range and complexity to it. One day, I decided to say, “Fuck it, this sucks.” and decided it was time to travel down a different path. When I was fourteen, I received my first guitar and I named her “Black Beauty” — she was my first and has never been replaced.
There is something ethereal about the wonder of music, which in itself is one of life’s great mysteries that spans the depths of time. To the earliest of men who walked the earth and from the onset of the ear lie creatures that made up our land and seas, it has helped shape and create our existence. At its core, music is easily one of the greatest influences our world has encountered.
It is undeniable that music has been a driving force in my life. The magic of music has helped me develop positively as a human being, given me purpose and a healthy outlet that allows me to move through the rigors of life. One of my greatest inspirations, Joseph Campbell — a profound writer and mythologist once said, “Love is friendship set to music.” There may be no other words that I find more precise.
I am eternally grateful for the happiness and relationships music has given me, ones that I know in my heart will last a lifetime. When I close my eyes and think of those I love the most, we all share a special bond through the avenue of music. Defining moments of creation, active listening, and participation that brought together an intricate web of friendship that continues to foster love and growth to this day. Few things have brought me such joy.
The aura that is music seems almost too perfect for this world, though I cannot possibly fathom my existence without it. I would argue that music is universal — a truly relatable experience that people from all walks of life can enjoy. As it was, the ancient Egyptians believed that music was a creation from the goddess Hathor — which became a tool that was used to help create and forge a civilized world. In our heart of hearts, I think we can all agree that is true. Music is art; it is scientific, mathematical and full of language. It can be found anywhere and everywhere around you. The whistling of wind in the cool fall breeze — that’s music. The sound of your bare feet roaming across the prairie — that too is music.
Without question, it is one of the greatest things one can experience. For me, music helps foster emotions and can be extraordinarily therapeutic. The gentlest strum of a guitar, the primal beating of drums or even the delicate manner in which a piano is played can evoke feelings that other creative mediums cannot produce. A song can give you peace when you are not at ease. A beautiful melody can lift your soul up when you are feeling down. In mental states of depression, anger and grief — I have always found solace by picking up my guitar and playing it. When a part of you is missing, immersion in music whether by creating or listening can help make you whole.
Additionally, I have come to find that music helps me expand my efficacy in other aspects of my life. Whether it was sports, painting or writing — listening to music in conjunction with such activities served as a great motivational tool, helping me evolve and become better in such outlets. It can bring you to a higher state of mind that allows you to reach your highest potentialities. Music can help you reach your dreams, conquer your endeavors and attain a greater amount of self-worth and respect. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the research being done on the numerous health benefits music can bring to your life.
We all travel to the beat of a different drum, but we can all find great things in music. An individual journey beyond your wildest dreams is waiting for you — find some time each day to dedicate to music. Learn an instrument, discover a new band, drum on a beer keg and holler at the moon. Tremendous things can happen when you allow your soul to sing and resonate. Don’t hold back and deny yourself the ability to kick back, relax and enjoy how beautiful it is to be who you are.
Readers of The Havok Journal, I must ask, “What is music to you?” For me — music is life. The amalgamation of all great things in one that existed long before we did and will exist long after we are gone.