By Gerry Ellen
Music: the best two syllables in language today.
How to describe something so common, yet so big on every level? How to put into words a pulse that not only causes reverberations and echoes in our bodies on any given day with spontaneous episodes of dancing and swaying and clapping, all the while creating a gathering of people or communities reveling in the celebration of sounds? How to even describe music in all its forms?
Power, with a capital “P,” that’s how.
This is music. The various dimensions of sound can create a wave of emotions and exhilaration, leaving us begging for more as melodies get so embedded into our pores, we can’t help but feel how music transcends everything in life.
It explodes and becomes something more than we ever dreamed. Music is memories. Music evokes feelings, both explored and unknown. Music covers all the bases of life and love and this world. It carries us from one day to the next, one moment to another, one year to a decade, one powerful heart-oozing feeling to a boatload of arms and legs full of chills. There is no end (ever) for music, and we can thank the Universe for that.
My love for music had an early beginning, and is a constantly ongoing process of surprises and crescendos from my soul.
It all started with Loony Tunes and pop-star icons. I then had a progressive country phase where listening to 8-track tapes in my old Buick sitting in the high school parking lot was cause enough to skip classes. In college I listened to a mix of heavy metal and old-school bands like Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, and The Doobie Brothers.
The early fitness years combined a heavenly dose of new age; then adult alternative rock; some reggae years thrown in; the longstanding blues decades; a stint of jazz adoration (mainly the guy I was dating at the time was an avid fan); a massive amount of R&B on the turntable; the traditional sounds of classic rock; the angry head-banging bands that fired up many a sweaty exercise session; followed by some yoga chanting sounds during mild attempts at peace.
But now, with writing and cooking, having a blend of nature music in the background, popular and cultural beats, sing-a-long melodies where I can make the pots and pans and fingers on the keyboards dance, those are the days worth remembering.
And then, there’s always rock and roll—rock and roll feels like my birthright.
It gives me a sense of freedom and appreciation, and I am often singing to the top of my lungs every lyric and word written like there’s no tomorrow. I never could get my head around rap, that’s just not my style. Simply mentioning all these burgeoning years of different sounds that have made their way into my soul brings back some of the best memories, and has led to experiencing new perspectives and relationships and all else that life has to offer.
Music is like that: it goes straight to the meat of the matter.
Drums, guitars, saxophones, violins, tubas, pianos, tambourines, cellos, harps, flutes, and any other finely tuned instrument, music has a way of taking us back and bringing us forward.
My roots are in Austin, a true hub for this stuff. It evolved over the years and decades, but something always remains wild and true to what music means to me. It’s not some kitch- cool, yeah-I’m-from-Austin-kind-of-thing. It’s deeper than that. I listen to something every day that can span all sorts of genres and generations. When I visit Mom, we spin Pavarotti and Sinatra and The Gypsy Kings. When I go to live shows, it can be anything from Al Green to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Carol King to Nine Inch Nails, and even Snow Patrol or Public Enemy (whatever happened to either of them?).
There are no boundaries with me and music.
I listen, I absorb, I breathe it in, I do a few push-ups, then morph into a mess of chicken skin. I jump, I scream, I dance my butt off, and I have even been known to be a groupie in a former life. But that’s all just trash talk from my own inner knowing and being.
I absolutely love music, all kinds and all beats.
People come together for music. Dinners, weddings, romantic interludes, festivals, meditation, yoga, road trips, films and the cinema, outdoor concerts, unplugged sit-ins, garage bands, there is no end to what and how the power of music is a such massive part of our culture and everyday lives. What we define as the perfect song to go with the perfect moment, who we were with and what we were doing during a particular year a tune went over-the-top popular, which front man or band is the “it” celebrity of the decade; it’s all part of the music scene.
The history of sound and songs and voices goes so far back that babies being born today have an incredible opportunity to understand and be a part of all that is leftover, and absorb all that is here and still to come.
Music is love. Music is us, and we are music.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak