Sunday, February 06, 2011

Musings on music

These days, music has taken an important role in our daily routines. May it be on our desktops, laptops, phones or iPods. While working, relaxing, working out, traveling, driving and what not… But how often have you felt like you have been transferred by music to a land where all around you is nothing but raw and unadulterated beauty of nature? Many times I bet!

A green ravine studded with trees and marked by gorges and waterfalls. Scenes like those of Rivendell. Calm and peaceful. It may not be quiet in the strictest sense of the word. There might even be a roar of the wind around, or that of falling water. But when it comes to clearing your mind of cluttered thoughts, the atmosphere is as quiet as it should be.

A clearing in a rainforest: A small window to the sky and the world outside the forest. Leaves from the trees all around dripping with water from incessant rains… Slow continuous sound of water streams flowing through rocks and pebbles.

An edge of a cliff, with thousand stars and their twinkling glow in your eyes… deep white snow shimmering around you, each and every white speckle of it making you contemplate: about your past, present and future. The usual emptiness of the night is nowhere to be seen. Instead, all you have is a feeling very deep and poetic.

For me, it has been quite often! A single piece is enough to take you into a trance of nothingness. It changes your mood, changes your outlook, and changes your state of mind. I have had music pieces give me goosebumps, ecstasy, excitement, anguish, euphoria, despondence and what not!

But the connection is far from over just with this. Do you remember those tags they attach these days to articles, blogs and images across internet? These tags help you and search engines search a relevant article based on a keyword one searches. It is similar with music and memories. What does our mind usually tag our memories by? Probably the setup, the people around, the place, the time of the year, the weather... But along with it, if present, a particular piece of music that you might have heard also gets added to the ‘tags’ we have for our feelings, emotions and memories.

Try to recall any distinct childhood memory: your mornings to school, or your birthday, or your trip with family or just hang-out with friends. I’m sure you’ll find many of them with these musical ‘tags’ attached to them, perhaps a song that you were hearing that time, or a song that you use to hear all the time during those days. And like in case of tags for the blogs, if you come across these keywords independently, there’s a good chance that you’ll immediately remember the memories that were tagged by those musical pieces. I’ve seen it happen to me ALL the time.

In a way, music becomes integral part of those memories, our daily experience and thus our lives, not just through our gadgets and actions, but deep in the fathoms of our minds…