Music is something incredibly special…

“Music has accompanied our most important life moments. It has comforted us, and been our fight song.”
There’s something about music. Something innately powerful. I’m not going to delve into the history of music here because a) it’s hugely vast, and b) I do not know enough to speak about it at length or accuracy, let alone manage to condense it down into a succinct, consumable introduction. So you’re going to have to forgive me for this. Music has been around since forever ago yo'.

Almost without exception, each of us has grown up with music. Music that we love, music that we dislike, music that makes us dance, music that we can’t help but sing along to. Music has accompanied our most important life moments. It has comforted us, and been our fight song. Music is entirely pervasive in our cultures and as mentioned before, with few exceptions, (musical anhedonia is very interesting indeed), it is enjoyed by almost all of us.

It’s important to remember though, that music doesn’t just pop into existence. It is coaxed out, seemingly from some hidden realm, a world behind the world we see. A tear opens up and someone with musical prowess teases it from this other realm and gives it form in ours.

A short story

A while back I was having a pretty tough time. I was feeling rather low, and couldn’t seem to find anything to shake me out of it. I was in the middle of a rather dull task when a notification came through from a good friend of mine with a message. “Here’s the latest WIP (Work In Progress) I’m working on…”.

“Though I've definitely had music that has affected me before, this one hit me unexpectedly and differently.”
I idly clicked the play button and returned to my task. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect and, though I always enjoy hearing these early WIPs I wasn’t particularly in the mood for listening to music at all.

However, from the instant the first notes hit my ears, at the moment of contact between those sonic vibrations and my ear drum, I felt what I can only describe as being smacked out of myself. In that moment, I was transported away from my self. You know in the movies when they visually show someone being pushed out of their body, all elastic like? Yeh, it was kind of like that. But more violent.

It reset my mind. For a moment I felt incredibly envious. My buddy gets to do this for his day job, while I’m stuck writing code. (It’s important to note that I do actually enjoy my job, as I mentioned, this was a rather down moment for me.) Yet then I understood the old adage, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Your works are powerful

“I felt what I can only describe as being smacked out of myself
The track Joshua presented to me was a Work In Progress, it wasn’t finished; yet it had had this huge impact on me. We often strive so much for our tracks to be perfect, and I include myself in this. In fact, [I’ve written about this before]({{ ref “/posts/perfectionism.md }}). Yet I feel it’s important to temper this with the view that even the simplest of tracks, the unfinished demos, the roughest vocal take; can be hugely powerful and affect others in ways we just don’t expect.

I urge you to remember how important and impactful your music can be. Don’t hide it away; fearing that it’s not quite ready yet. You have worked hard to tease these notes into existence. Sure, make it as good as you can, but wouldn’t you be happy to know your music impacted someone in that way. It’s never going to happen if that music isn’t set free! I’ll be honest - I’ve often heard people saying that a particular song really gets them. I often thought they were overstating things. Though I’ve definitely had music that has affected me before, this one hit me unexpectedly and differently.

Another side to the story

Recently I worked with someone and produced their track. They worked so hard and put everything they had into it. Seeing the comments people have given to the artist about their vocals gave me that feeling all over again. I could see others having that same moment, through their comments. It was truly touching.

So what to take away…

It’s important to note that you may never hear of these stories about your own music. Sometimes people are afraid of showing that level of vulnerability. Joshua knows about this because I told him about it a number of months later and his response was very much inline with what I expected.

“I’m so glad, because a lot of my favorite music does the same to me”

Though you may not hear about the story of someone who is so heavily affected by your music, it’s never going to happen unless you let go! Take that step! I’d much rather know that there’s the possibility of someone being impacted, than it never happening. Use that power! Go create!

Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash