“Music can change the world”. Beethoven
Music, like a fine wine, a good book, an interesting documentary….any form of communication is best enjoyed when we open our souls completely to it. To sit quietly and allow the various instruments and voices to quench our thirst is surely to appreciate collaborations which have arisen from spirit and perseverance.
Whether listening to Mozart, Louis Armstrong, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Ozzy Osborne, Eric Clapton, Nina Simone…..whatever the genre, we can sit in awe of the magic that has been created through the intense sensations birthed at the conception of any piece.
Ambience. Whether sitting in a jazz bar in New York City, a concert in London, or perched cosily in that armchair at home, when we connect to anything fully, we can create whatever ambience we wish. When it comes time to spring clean, music gives that mop or broom a soul of it’s own.
There is a lovely little cafe on the corner of Old Compton Street in Soho, London (Cafe Le Boheme) and I would sit there and feel a spiritual lightening as the world disappeared with its stresses and complexities leaving just the music and me.
How many of us raced through St Pancreas, Kings Cross, London and did not listen to that person playing beautiful key notes on the piano that sits there for the public to play? I used to leave home a little earlier just to chance a listen. I suppose this was also a casualty of Covid as hand washing and distance meant we could not ‘share’ space as we used to.
My partner and I once spent a Friday evening in an awesome Ethiopian Cafe around the corner in Oval on the Brixton Road, London. Just, beautiful. I quite love jazz music. Experiencing heady jazz on a blisteringly cold winter’s night in Montreal is wonderful. Yet, I love to sit by candlelight and listen to romantic, charming, smooth jazz.
Who needs drugs and alcohol when one has music? We bolt on alcohol, drugs, food etc …. I remember dining some Sunday afternoons at Roast in London Bridge and they had pianist entertainment. “Yummy!” I could have quite happily foregone the food just to savour the notes.
I’ve missed out on spiritual connectivity to music because I was trashed. Clapping and shouting about that which I had not connected to fully. I like going to venues on my own at times because it means no one talks to me and I can eye the entertainment fully.
There have been times when I have drank just to escape the entertainment 🙂 We can enjoy nights out without alcohol. I didn’t think I could. To enjoy a glass of bubbly, a dirty martini or some ravishing Italian vino too as the bass player connects with the drummer, the pianist and the gorgeous voice – why not? The sublime is preferred these days as opposed to the rowdy and noisy.
We can agree to disagree on the words that often pop up in songs. I remember that the kernels of learning may not be conducive to a peaceful path. Yesterday as I sat in the public gardens, a young girl walked by with her boombox and the profanities were there. I never understand why songs have to include profanities. Why? Then I remember that art is other people’s expressions and depending on where their soul is at, they will write and sing accordingly. Be careful that their reality doesn’t become our own. There is absolutely no need for profanities. Tell me that some of the greatest songs written without profanities would have been far more effective had hate and swearing been included? There is no need for hate messages. There is no need for the denunciation of various groups who are harming no one just because of their genetic makeup. Pity.
I have chosen not to listen to music which is harmful to humanity (albeit we can understand something from it) and instead occupy my space with far more loving messages. Growing up, The Sound of Music was one of my favourite movies. It was a childhood dream come true when I visited Saltzburg a few years ago. To some, it may have seemed trivial but to this girl from the rock, it was magical, even if the movie was a little hyped for Hollywood.
Saltzburg is no stranger to music as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born there. One of the most famous classical music composers the world has ever known.
I hold adult performers and their management / labels to account because a ten year old boombox owner will not understand, but adult professionals could understand the harm they are causing (albeit fame also comes at a cost). I think about singers like Celine Dion who have enjoyed a career spanning many years, kept as much out of the media for the wrong reasons as possible. Comparisons can be helpful when deciding on the path to walk.
What we do for money
Fame without responsibility and awareness often has perilous consequences. Those who manage celebrities often lack awareness of the ego as they push ‘commodities’ into a place which is dark. What does a child know about fame? Having adults around that child who understand that life isn’t just about draining every last bit of talent. Other people get hurt along the way if we don’t approach skill wisely.
To have a skill and use it to combat the mass thinking that skill and talent is all about fame and fortune. People are making money out of all sorts of creations and I ask, “what is it doing for humanity and the world?” I really enjoyed the ice statues in Canada celebrating musical talent.
So as we let the music speak to our hearts, do we choose that which endorses the kindness, love, happiness etc in us and others? There is enough sadness, anger and hatred in this world to add it. Collective entities can do much good, they can also do very bad.
What does it say about us when we see harmful as ‘cool’ and and turn a blind eye?