Recently I was corresponding with a friend about music, something I don’t believe I’ve written about in this space.
While I don’t consider myself an expert in anything, I know even less about music than about most things. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it and that it doesn’t play a role in my life but just that I’m not naturally musical.
In our discussion, it unfolds that my friend prefers music that is original and noticeably unconventional. He likes “risky” music.
For me, on the other hand, it is a matter of resonance and is contingent on the words (sometimes as little as a single, searing phrase) that imprint on me as a mirror of my own feelings or experiences (real or imagined).
Words alone are not enough for me to connect with a piece of music, but lyrics are essential unless (as with a few classical pieces or jazz pieces) a story from the music springs into my head fully formed from some other context, such as the title. It also explains why individual songs seep into my soul and inhabit it more completely than entire albums.
Today driving to and from work, I’ll dive into the aural pool that is Adele 25. What a voice…
I’ve spent a lot of time with 21, but play two tracks far, far more than any of the others because of the reasons mentioned above.
What are they? One and Only and Lovesong. I’ve also integrated them into some of my playlists.
Oh, sometimes I sample others out of sequence, like I’ll Be Waiting and Rolling in the Deep and others, but the only time I play the entire album in sequence is if I am “using” it to accompany me on a walk or a workout.
Another factor in my selections, beyond what resonates most powerfully with me, is the fact that over the last few months, I’m trying to consciously choose music that uplifts me and speaks to the energy I want to bring into my life. Adele, with that big, bodacious voice, speaks more to the depths than to the heights, and she does it oh-so-well.
But, I don’t want to lose myself in those spaces anymore in music, so I dip in and out but don’t submerge myself there.
With movies, on the other hand, I have many more categories of appreciation than with music and much more nuanced understandings within and among those categories.
And, with movies as opposed to music, I explore the darkest spaces of human experience as well as the brightest (sometimes in the same film) and am (generally) pretty fearless about it, but (and this is important, perhaps, in understanding me as a person and as an artist) I basically stick to happy, inspiring stories with the films I make.
You might even say that the films I make are sweet.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing because the world can use more sweet to go along with the bitter.
By the way, I don’t consider myself an expert in movies either, strictly speaking, because my knowledge is broad rather than deep and is rooted in both theory and practice that transcends artificially constructed narrative boundaries so that I can dabble in television and other forms that interest me as I follow my passions.
Yes, I’m listening to 21 as I write this…