Musical Therapy

4 06 2010

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, rather – I hope I’m not alone in this, but music makes up a mosaic or even a scrapbook of my life – I can instantly be placed into the mentality of my twenty year old self when I hear ‘Ocean‘ by John Butler Trio (although this is a much shorter version) or closing my eyes to ‘Everyday‘ by Buddy Holly to feel the shag carpet against my stomach as a 10 year old. It’s in this musical recall that I find solace. I let it fill my chest with warm as it overtakes me and my memories of my current concerns fade, to bring me back to other times – be it better or worse.

I mentioned ‘Ocean’ by JBT; I first heard this song *live* in Dallas in 2007. My sister and I road-tripped down to Allen to visit our family, and we decided to see a show at the House of Blues. The band sounded interesting, so we bought tickets. As I’m regaling this moment, I’m listening to this song (a live version, recorded in Milwaukee shortly after the concert I went to) and I can remember how loud the bass was – I thought the roof was going to collapse. But this all brings up that trip – from driving back country roads in Oklahoma, to visit my sister’s friend and fire my first handgun (that was terrifying by the way), visiting the memorial site of the Oklahoma City Bombing and just sitting on a bench, taking in the feeling of that space, staying in a Hitchcock-esque motel right off the highway, and being goofy with my sister because we had driven so much. It’s odd because these are so vivid to me, they aren’t snapshots in my head; when my eyes close and this music floods my ears I feel as though I’m in my car, hopping over bumps at 70+mph with windows open, sunglasses on. It was such a happy moment and I can relive it over and over again.

When I was a child I was very attached to my mother, that’s not to say that I am not now, I’ve just grown up. My mom goes out for rides, mainly for coffee and fresh air, but also to escape the mundane life we have here – she quit her job to raise my sister and I, and didn’t find another career until I was in high school. Whenever she left she’d live on our record player and she often walked out the door as ‘Everyday’ by Buddy Holly popped and crackled over the stereo speakers. This cheerful song to many brings up the feelings of abandonment for me; I’d lay on the floor as the music played, wondering when she’d get home – I would get up to replay the track over and over again, eventually wearing out the grooves; but there was an odd sentiment I’d feel when that song was playing, as if it would end, she’d be back home and everything would be okay. By the end of the record’s side I’d have my head between the blinds, looking for headlights on our street. When I feel alone I still put on that record, letting me feel at ease – that things will balance out and life will be normal again shortly.

Just as every instrument has a timbre, every memory has it’s own soundtrack – I think of it as the warmth of tone similar to a jazz trumpeter or the passion in a vocalist’s voice.

“Every day – it’s a gettin’ closer, goin’ faster than a roller coaster. Love like yours will surely come my way…”

I hope I’m not alone with those feelings.

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4 responses

4 06 2010
TwitchyLittleBaker

So, because of this post, I’ve had Everyday stuck in my head all day. Thank you so much Drifty.

Anyway, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I listen to a song over and over again when I read a book so that I have that connection. 🙂

4 06 2010
Driftwood

Everything is going according to plan then! >: 3

I’ve always toyed around with the idea of writing a series based solely on that idea… each section would tell a story that I typically recall when I hear a certain song.

Do you have any notable memories/songs?

4 06 2010
TwitchyLittleBaker

A series based on this would be really cool.

Most of my songs are just songs that remind me of books, but I do have one song that is really special to me, and everyone thinks its kind of a weird reason.

When I was a kid, whenever we had a soccer game, my dad would play Sonia Dada’s Screaming John before each game. Now whenever I hear it it reminds me of that feeling right before we hit the field. That feeling of being so nervous and excited. It makes me feel a little bit more confident in myself for no real reason at all. That’s why I always listen to it before job interviews…

4 06 2010
Driftwood

Haha, that’s such a 90’s song. It’s interesting to know how little bits of sound can make so much impact for whichever reason and that it has a long-lasting effect.

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