I was rarely influenced by music all this while. It is surprising, but it is the way that I have come up with, building a totally non-musical mind. I did not deal with stress by listening to music, but by doing a variety of things almost non-stop, actually not relaxing at all. I have known this for a very long time, but could not shake the well-entrenched habit of rushing from one thing to the next.
Music of the Bollywood type sometimes interested me for the rhythmic tunes and the accompanying dance, but I quickly forgot the songs, sometimes reminded of a specific song when it played on radio. I was just not interested in the non-movie music of any kind. Except…………..
Yes, there are always some exceptions to the way one works.
I was deeply influenced by the story of Karen Carpenter, so I am a fan of “The Carpenters” which was the first album I stored on my iPhone many years ago. I often listen to it while driving and taking a long early morning walk. I also developed a fascination for two other bands which were popular in the Seventies and Eighties: ABBA and BoneyM. These albums also feature on my iPhone, apart from albums of Lionel Ritchie and Michael Jackson. That is it – yes, I have only these few albums in my phone, for reasons which are not that common: influence by the story of the artist or the band, an understanding of the message in some of the songs, etc., Not really because the artist or the band or the album was ground-breaking or major hits in the market.
Of late, I have started using Spotify on my iPhone as my mind turns to the soothing power of a music or song that impacts my mood in a strongly positive manner. It is a rather slow transition for me as I am learning slowly how to relax totally without disrupting the rest of my ecosystem and thinking. I do not wish to be totally dominated by music like how fans sing passionately along with a famous band on stage, appearing to be almost in a trance. It is not that important to me to be able to follow and chase a music icon that I otherwise like or prefer. May be I am not young, may be I am not driven by passion in every walk of life, may be I just do not wish to spend SGD 200 plus for a 1.5 hour concert, so on and so forth.
On Spotify, I found couple of artists that I have started to like: one is Ed Sheeran, and the other is Bryan Adams. There are countless artists, bands and albums, and there is not enough time. I tend to focus on the people I like, instead of throwing a wider net. I also try figuring out what these guys really sing, by downloading the lyrics of at least the songs I like and trying to understand how the English language can be “treated” to sound so much more stylish and what I call “rapidly coalescing” into the listeners’ minds. I also read up on the history of the particular artist or band, and that has always been very interesting.
For example, I went walking for an hour this morning (as I do on 6 out of the 7 days in a week), and thought it will be good to listen to Bryan Adams. It was a good experience – I should say I enjoyed his songs. I had to decode the words in some of the songs, but that is normal for me. Couple of days ago I played Ed Sheeran who was more intense on the emotions. Such comments bring out tough remarks, but to everyone his own, right?
Gradually I am transforming what was a completely non-musical mind into a “slightly more musically” oriented mind. My wife has always been a musically influenced and knowledgeable person with good grasp of Tamil and Sanskrit songs – she had always tried to persuade me to relax with such music. She even suggested that I should try to focus my mind with the sound of “OM” which has a ringing tone which never seems to end. But I have only been curious and experimental, rather than a disciplined executioner when it came to music for a very long time.
Now, I am trying to discipline my mind with the hope that it will be better ordained, relaxed and loosened up with some good music. There are, of course, reasons why music is so popular with most people, apart from pure relaxation. I have seen people truly enjoying soft music for instance, closing their eyes ever so often. I have seen people enjoying blaring music which affects all folks within earshot. And I have seen people who play great music around the house designed to deliver a calming influence on all household folks (and, hopefully reduce conflicts!).
Well for me, the big benefit is the increased ease with which I walk and complete nearly 5 KMs of brisk walk every morning. Music has helped me (though without it, I was anyway walking) to make the experience pleasurable, with the mind focusing more on the song, the artist, the band, the album, and the lyrics rather than the effort of walking with sweat streaming through my shirt. As things get easier to do, one tends to follow the new methodology more closely and in a more effective manner. I have to add here, of course, that my new bluetooth wireless earphones have just been amazing!
So, that has been my limited experience with music.
Have a good weekend, folks,
01 June 2019