‘Music is my life,’ the image hanging on my son’s wall reads. A man after my own heart. I have always been a music lover. Starting with The Monkees and David Cassidy, when I was small, then moving on to show tunes and the incredible Barbra Streisand, my 40-year love affair with Rod Stewart, leading to the Rock of the 70’s and the hair bands and phenomena that was the 80’s. Throw in the blues, jazz, Broadway and some country and we are only just beginning.
I can’t recall much of the music of the 90’s. I married, my son was born, and although I sang to him constantly, I had little time to discover any music that wasn’t involved with a Disney movie. Throughout his youth, we had Music Monday. Each Monday night, a different type of music serenaded our dinner. I thought it would open up a new world for him and in many ways, it did. A musician and songwriter, he has taught himself to play several instruments and although I cannot take any credit really, I like to think somehow, I helped.
It was in his teen years that he had chosen his own style. We went through the classic rock phase together, but then he moved on to alternative, death metal, and screamo, leaving me behind in the dust. I tried to appreciate it, but it just wasn’t my thing. I often use lyrics to reply to difficult questions and nothing cheers me more than belting out a few show tunes when I am down, but I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. I felt like a Parent—and not the cool one: turn that crazy music down!
Then came Rock Band and Guitar Hero. A frustrated singer, who couldn’t carry a tune, I was thrilled when he handed me a mic and asked me to sing. In front of his friends…. I couldn’t believe my luck. Many of the songs were unfamiliar, but I found that I enjoyed them. That perhaps I had not given his taste a chance. To this day, I thank him repeatedly for giving me back the music.
Sometimes we get so caught up in life, we forget to live. Forget who we are. My son has reminded me on many occasions, and now that he is no longer a child, I am free to make my own choices. Yet, I still find new music every day from him
And I still play Rock Band from time to time.
Recently, he played Sounds of Silence, a remake of the original, by Disturbed. I was prepared to hate it, after all who could possibly do better than the haunting Simon and Garfunkel version? Remarkably, I was moved to tears by the rendition. The power and angst of the deep raspy voice of David Draiman, created a version that may or may not be better, but was certainly different. Instead of observing the loneliness, this version puts you right in the thick of it. Powerful.
This made me think about audio in general and how so much of what I do revolves around sound. How words can change so many things. Maybe a text message is misread without the intent or inflection involved. An email carries a tone, but what if it is misinterpreted? Even a voicemail can be a monotone response or rushed message. Just because we know what and how we are saying it, doesn’t mean anyone else does.
But an audio recording allows you to use your voice to create worlds, moments, pleasure. Audio Books that are well acted can carry you away to another place. Sound effects in a movie can make or break the box office. Audio Erotica can create a very real role play experience putting you in the moment with another and Directed Erotic Visualisation© can carry you right over the edge of ecstasy with words only.
When I need the quiet, I visit my aunt who lives out in the country. The sounds of silence always amaze me. The air buzzes with the high-pitched frequency of quiet only broken by an owl occasionally hooting in the trees or the clip clop of horse’s hooves on the road. So, is silence, silent at all?
We can use our voices to create or destroy. The power of words can be intensified or softened, by a simple change in tone. We can remain silent or speak up and be heard. And thankfully, we can sing. It doesn’t matter whether you can carry a tune or sound like a frog in a tin bucket, turn it up, roll down the windows and sing like no one’s listening.
It will help you embrace the silence when you find it. And when you do find it, take a moment, and listen: it is quite a beautiful song.