I believe in the mix tape. There is no better medium by which we inspire friendship and invite love. When I give someone a mix tape, I give them a piece of myself. Music has stolen my heart and soul – the only way to offer a connection with my heart is to offer a collection of music.
I’ve made a mix tape for anyone I ever cared to be closer to. This has allowed me to associate two passions: musical taste and human relationships. Exchanged music recommendations teach each person about the other. A person’s musical preferences exhibit their goals and desires, moods and tendencies, beliefs and perceptions. When a mix tape is compiled, a personality is woven throughout the track list.
The Great Blogger Mix Tape Exchange began last summer. Flenker, a fellow blog-writer, suggested that mix tapes be sent throughout the continent to each blogger involved. I assembled a mix for each person and received one in return. Each had a theme, whether it was Mix Tape for Your Mother, a mix that claimed mother-approved propriety, or The Essential H, a collection of tracks that had influenced the participating blogger’s life. Mix tapes, both intentionally and unintentionally, illustrate the mixer. I sent out a separate, personalized mix for each individual, thus demonstrating my aim to please. The tracks on each tape reflected different elements of my life. I knew the songs that influenced my thoughts needed to be shared with anyone who wanted to better understand me.
Compiling a mix tape is like writing a novel. There is an author, a beginning, middle, an end, a theme, a mood…each song is specifically placed to better tell the story. The story’s objective will differ, and like every story has an intended reader, every mix tape has an intended listener. When the mix is meant for another, the theme most always deals with love or friendship. There’s the ‘I Think We Like The Same Music’ mix, the ‘I’ll Like You Better If You Like My Music’ mix, the ‘This Will Change Your Life and So Will I’ mix, the ‘Don’t You Dare Break Up With Me’ mix, the ‘Get Over It, I Dumped You’ mix…. The list goes on. I once read somewhere, “What you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.” When layering my initiatives, smiles, tears, hopes, and love between the tracks, I can only expect the same in return. Often, however, a mix is meant for one’s self. There could be the ‘I Can’t Sleep’ mix, the ‘Cleaning the Kitchen’ mix, the ‘Painting a Masterpiece’ mix – each has a specific role in the mixer’s life.
When music and life are juxtaposed so completely, music becomes life. In this sense, to share one’s self is to share one’s music. I am in every mix tape I create. I want the listener to see my face, to know me better. I want the listener to believe in the mix tape.
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