The Purity of Music
As is a common occurrence, today I was cleaning the house while listening to music. You know the old adage, “whistle while you work”? Well, again, as commonly occurs, a song came on that struck me right to the core, so I stopped what I was doing to completely give myself over to the music for a few minutes. I mean, who can focus on housework when you’re swept away into a sea of melodic splendor? It can only be described as euphoric. Why, it’s almost like being in love!
On this particular occasion lost in sonic bliss, I somehow maintained my mental capacities enough to ask myself, “Where are all these deeply passionate people hiding? Do they actually exist?” From my perspective, people are hesitant to reveal their inner-being, so it would be a brave soul indeed that is willing to be so transparent. It was then I realized an integral part of what draws me to music in the first place; the purity of raw emotion within! Only in art do people seem to feel safe enough to truly set their heart ablaze and expose it for the world to see. As one who finds intensity of emotion alluring, rarely is it displayed in such a primal manner than through art, but it is through music that one can give voice and melody to passion so that it may be experienced repeatedly.
Music certainly provides a sanctuary for me as well. So what is it about art and music that lends to a feeling of safety? Perhaps it is the ambiguity of it. For instance, even the most articulate songs can still be interpreted in any number of ways. What was the inspiration behind the song? Who is the song about? What message are they trying to convey specifically? It is the listener who ultimately decides a song’s meaning and most people will naturally apply it to their own personal circumstance rather than trying to figure out what the songwriter was thinking. That is, if they take the time to dissect a song’s lyrics in the first place.
For a songwriter like me, who feels deeply but struggles at times to express emotion verbally, it’s an opportunity to bare my soul without actually being uncovered. To keep my true self hidden in plain sight, only to be revealed to the few who care enough to listen. Perhaps that sounds a bit self-indulgent, but I get just as much satisfaction from emotional discovery that comes from enjoying other people’s work as I do from my own. I think most of us need a creative outlet to work through our thoughts and music provides that platform for me. To revel in the work of someone who is at their most vulnerable is as pure and authentic as it gets!
Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. – Alphonse de Lamartine