As millions of you readers out there (yes I am joking) may have already noticed, music features highly in my list of favorite things, and yes, I am rather obsessed…
This may be the most self-indulgent selection for my “ten greatest” yet. For that I apologize (I think). But the subject matter is undeniable: listening to music does amazing things to my mind, body and soul. When the world seems all wrong I can wash myself, yes, with prayer, but then with some top-notch sounds…and put it right again within minutes.
Of course, I’m not the only one so affected. Music is a language gift from our Creator, ultimately for our worship of him but also for our enjoyment, even if it’s not overtly “worship” music.
(Unknown Title, by Anon-make sure you can hear the bass)
The other day I revisited the above tune which I recorded from the radio in ’02 or ‘03 from John Peel’s show in the UK. I regret that I took no note of who authored it or what the title was, but within three seconds of its commencement a flood of emotion washed over me-a self-conditioned Pavlovian response perhaps-but more likely a divinely designed response. As is so often the case, it wasn’t just the melody, the minor chord progression, the understatement or the rhythms of the piece which appealed to my predominantly melancholy nature, but the sheer genius imagination of its author. It’s the inventive power of the composer and ultimately the giver of the gift of music, which touches my heart and soul.
Unfortunately, the world is now awash with what Orwell called ‘musaac”, and while beauty in all things is in the eye (and ear) of the beholder so that I don’t want to trash someone else’s tastes, it seems you can’t go anywhere or do anything without being subjected to somebody’s idea of “great music” and noises designed to facilitate the parting of you and your money. Music is everywhere we go now, like air which may be fresh and sweet or polluted and rancid. Consequently there have been times in recent years I’ve thought I could go off the whole concept of music altogether, for the same reason as I might go off chocolate if I was forced to eat it all day long. So I take great steps to keep my mind free of what I don’t want to hear as far as I can, so that what I do enjoy is not thrown out like the proverbial baby with the bathwater.
I have extremely varied tastes in music, which include certain Classical, Electronic and Jazz styles, with still a delicious hangover from the guitar bands of the past that I’ve loved. I can find as much pleasure in a Chopin nocturne as I can in the Ramones, or in electronica such as I’ve added to the post.
My Mum told me that when I was three years old I would commandeer the family record player (an ancient music reproduction device-but yes, still the best sound quality out) and select my favorites, playing them over and over. So began a love affair which I’m convinced was God-given: a blessing to mankind every bit as great as flowers, scenery and sunsets. I often thank the Lord for allowing me not only to enjoy music, but also for helping me to discover some of the most amazing sounds ever made in the physical universe.
I wrote a post some time ago called “Music As a Love Language of God”. I expressed myself as clearly as I can in that post, so if you’re interested, here it is: