Music is a translation of what we think, what we know, how we feel. We communicate with complex strings of sounds which make up words and symbols. Music goes beyond our usual method of communication. It seems to have a direct link to our memories. One song can tripper thoughts and feeling that had long since passed, or give way to knew ones we didn’t think we had.
Bastille’s first album Bad Blood, for example, is a summary of my entire trip to New York. When I was seventeen, my auntie and uncle had given me the fantastic opportunity of visiting them in America. I’d only ever been abroad once before, to France with my grandparents, and had never been on a plane. I had mixed emotions about the journey, which I had to take alone. I was upset about leaving my family behind. I was excited about going somewhere entirely new and seeing my cousins again. It had been so long. I was a little scared about flying. I was happy about finally having some time off after working pretty hard over the summer. I was sat on the plane, probably about half way through my eight hour journey when I’d finished watching two films. I was ready to settle down now so I was looking through the planes album list. I didn’t really see anything I was interested in but Bastille was the latest thing so I thought I’d try it. I fell in love. I listened to that album for about… the next three hours. I listened to it while I was in New York. I listened to it on the way back. These songs became a comfort to me. Now whenever I hear the album, it’s a symbol of my journey. It’s my travel music.
Another example of music marking my life would be 1989 by Taylor Swift. My boyfriend, George, bought me this for my birthday. I am an avid Taylor fan. I needed the album so badly, and like the darling he is, he got it for me. While I was at uni I’d listen to this album and I’d think of him. This album reflects my relationship and the journey I made to get to uni. It’s all a ‘state of grace’, so to speak. When I felt sad about George having to leave, or when I felt lonely and missed my family, I’d switch on my CD player and I’d listen to a bit of Taylor. I moved house twice last year so this album is the symbol of my change. George stayed through all of that, just like, despite the huge changes of sound Taylor has gone through, she’s still Taylor Swift. Despite all of the changes I’ve gone through, I’m still Sam Wiltshire.
Music makes up our identity. It interlocks with fashion and hobbies and our personalities. in a way, a person’s taste in music makes them who they are. You often know pretty quickly after finding out a person’s taste of music, whether or not you’re going to like them or not. You have a point over which you can bond. George for example, is so very different from me but when I looked through his small CD collection the other day I realised that he was exactly the kind of boy I would have pined over at school, if we’d gone to the same one. Someone who listens to a lot of techno and house is often not going to give someone who listens to Papa Roach religiously the time of day.
In my eyes then, music is magick that holds physical evidence. You can hear it and you can see the effects it has on people. It can make them sad, it can make them happy. You can move people with a good song. You can change the world. Good music isn’t help back by language barriers. Everyone can understand sound. Music, in my eyes is something that everyone should be able to access and create if they wanted to. I grew wishing I could learn an instrument but my parents couldn’t afford it. My learnt to play the recorder for a few years in primary school and in my last two years, I had the pleasure of playing the flute. I adored it. The flute is a beautiful instrument and I wasn’t actually too bad. It was such a shame when I had to leave it all behind. These days I play the guitar, not very well, but I am self taught and I love to sing. I have sung since I was very young. These are skills that I would love to pass on to my children in the future. You don’t need to cling on to the charts to hear good music. It’s all around you.
I was a little outraged by Taylor’s move to make people pay to listen to her music online. I buy her albums because I adore her music, but I usually can’t wait long enough to buy her deluxe editions, nor do I usually have the money to afford such luxuries. So therefore, I can’t listen to her extra songs. It’s elitist. Music has become a gigantic industry for the elite. What has happened to the ‘lower’ forms of music? The local gold mines and community spirit? I have instead chosen to listen to other people’s versions of her deluxe songs and I thoroughly recommend it. No, they do not have Taylor’s beautiful voice, but they do not need it. Music is music. It doesn’t need to have a stamp of ownership. Everyone knows the song belongs to her. She makes a lot of money. Give people a break and try to remember what it’s all about.
So, I guess what I’m trying to get across in this article is that you should take advantage of what you can listen to. Experience all that there is to experience. Let the music take you there. And if you ever get the chance to make your own- do it. Music is the language our memories choose to speak.
Thanks for reading guys, see you soon! x