Music has always had a special place in my heart. It does things to my soul that I don’t believe anything else can. I think when I die I will want to be buried with a thumb drive filled with music so that I can nod along to wonderfully composed music as I suffer the afterlife – if at all it exists. Anyway, for as long as I have been able to choose my own music, it has had the effect of getting me really calm when am nervous. On those days when my anxiety comes to the fore and all I can do is pace around the house. When am feeling like a child pumped full of sugar and all jumpy. Then there are also the times when am so low that I can feel my heart slowing down to a near stop. When the world is dull and lacking of color, and I need to summon some life into me. Essentially, depending on the mood I am in, music can either be a stimulant to inject life and vigor into me, and make me feel like God lives next door to my house. Or as a depressant to help me numb the world away and slow life down to my desired pace.
Depending on the time of the month (or week), and the place, I will listen to different genres of music because I suspect I may have as versatile a taste as my mood. Whenever life knocks me down, as it often does on most days, I will go to that special place in my soul where only music lives. A place so deep that even the best of divers could never reach. A place where nothing but beats and rhythms and lyrics and notes and vocals can dwell. Because it is dark and cold and extremely isolated. It is a place I reserve for the slowest of days, when I do not wish to indulge in the pleasures of the bottle or the uplifting effects of cannabinoids. It is a place I go when am tired of human contact, and just want to close my eyes and float away. Far away.
On those occasions when I switch my bandwidth to that special corner of my soul, I will open up my music folder and play this cool mix that I stumbled upon a while back as I labored away in the dead of the night. It is a mix of soft Blues and RnB and some soothing jazz. A kind of jazz so smooth my heartbeat drops considerably whenever I plug it into my ears. Jazz that drifts into my soul so softly and surely that I can’t help but feel my troubles fly away. Because you cannot be worrying about the one or two bounced cheques that you have, or the electricity bill that is long past due when the music drifts into your ears. You cannot be thinking of the rescheduled promises when Shelby Brown and Chanda Long are singing Sayl Away with Me. It would be nothing but rude if you fail to join them in their dhow and sail away with them.
There is also this song in that mix. A song that often tugs at the strings of my heart. Especially when I start panicking over an issue here and another there. Am always forced to relax because it would not be proper for me to feel like am the only one that was left behind when Hill St. Soul sings Just a Matter of Time. And if you really listen to the composition of that soft melody, you will actually realize that it is nothing but a matter of time, because all journeys take time; and all journeys must come to an end at some point in time.
Good manners therefore dictate that you should let your troubles at the door of music. That you should not be so weighed down by life that even the part of you where music lives becomes an empty hole. I believe it would not be a nice thing to let the music die. Because in my view, when the music dies, the remaining space would be filled with darkness and sorrow and silence and pain.
I think after God had kicked humans from the Garden of Eden, He must have looked down and seen how much we were suffering. He must have then decided to make music and relieve us from all the troubles and pains of the world. Because when I imagine heaven – (when am sufficiently buzzed) – I see a place filled with great and lively music. That is why Chanté Moore sings about being Free. Because music is intended to bring freedom to those who cannot access it.
I believe God talks to us through music. For me therefore, music is like a software update that fixes my outlook in life and my overall mood. If there are any bugs affecting my operation, which happens more often than not, it is music that addresses and fixes those bugs. But that’s just me, what does music do to you or to your soul?