I believe that music is a force that stands and beckons the souls of humans to step out of their secret places.
I have a tendency to hide. I retreat within myself whenever I am threatened, lonely, or worn out by life. It’s easier to put up a façade of calm composure than to wear my heart on my sleeve, constantly exposing my feelings. It is a very intimate act to wax transparent and let one’s genuine emotions lie visible to the world.
Consequently, it intrigues me how concerts closely mimic intimate friendships. Back-porch blues, hardcore metal, and reggae-infused rock concerts are vastly different, but they all begin similarly. I feel very misplaced before the show; I don’t know why the girl in front of me chose to wear that particular shirt, or how come the weird kid next to me insists on elbowing me in the side. I am surrounded by strangers who dress and talk differently than I do, and none of them can identify with my experiences. The music hall is just an eclectic collection of individual identities.
As the night progresses, however, people begin to find comfort in the vulnerability of those around them. The spellbinding voice of the guitar coupled with the artist’s honest revelation of his sorrow, joy, or frustration blends the crowd together into a single-minded entity. Eyes slowly close in the dimly lit room, heads bob on the rolling swells of the melody, and feet tap in rhythm as the music invites people to open up in this place where every heart is in tune. I feel like the music is not being played in front of me as much as it is moving through me and everyone around me; I allow myself be swallowed up by the captivating melody of the rhythms throbbing through us.
I can also feel deeply in tune with other people at times when I am entirely alone. I love lying awake during the peaceful hours of the early morning, my ears filled with a resonating harmony from my stereo, or driving home late at night with no one but the whisper from the speakers. At times like these, the song can be so powerful that I cannot sing loud enough; I silently allow the song to fill me up inside and soothe the burning desire to express my pent up emotions. Even though I might be by myself, I am not at all lonely; I am comforted by the fact that someone I may never meet knows exactly how I feel.
Songs have an overwhelmingly powerful ability to draw a person’s spirit out from behind every wall built around it. Melodies and harmonies and notes and lyrics far surpass spoken words in capturing the emotions of a laugh, a tear, or a sigh. The guitar has the strength to draw out the barricaded souls of men and melt them together into one common identity.
I believe in the voice of the soul.
I believe in music.