Music is not a commodity. It’s not something that people buy, or consume. It’s not a revenue stream, or a career choice. It’s an expression of the depths of peoples’ humanity. It’s an experience.
Our ears bring us some of the greatest pleasure. Life is a song that plays all the time: running water, the hum of an air conditioner or computer, traffic, the soft breaths of our loved ones while they sleep.
And music touches, moves, and inspires people. It defines cultural movements, joyous occasions, painful break ups – music evokes powerful memories and responses in us. A song can forever bring us back to specific moments in our lives, to sights and smells of times that have passed us by. Music transcends time, and walks with us through our lives.
We live in an era where the palette of music we can paint onto the canvasses of our lives is a rich spectrum. Any sound we are looking for can be found and heard. The experience of listening has no price, and the soundtracks of our lives are personal. We listen to music with a focus and generosity we give few other things, for music only lives in the moment.
Music has no past, and no future. It exists only now, in the same moment our lives are occurring. It moves with us through life, and as we breathe in and out, music pulses and lives in the same moments we do.
We can break down music to an academic concept or a product, and we can break down the people who listen to it as statistical information. In the end, we listen to music because it moves us. It touches our hearts. It adds a richness to our life experiences, and expands the intensity of our lives. We are not numbers on a sheet, and we are not sales figures. We are human beings, and the music we listen to is one of our most intimate and personal experiences. Even in a crowded room or concert, it speaks to us directly.
Music is a conversation. Spoken by one human being, and heard by another. The listener gets to say how the music moves them. And while we tend to describe it in terms of good or bad, ultimately only the listener can say if a piece of music moves them, and what the experience of it is. As long as it evokes a powerful response, any piece of music has fulfilled its intention. It is when the listener reacts with apathy that a piece has not touched them.
Sometimes I forget why I make music. I get caught up in trends and analysis and perspectives that I lose sight of why I got into this game in the first place. I lose sight of the fact that music has the power to inspire people, and that it is a force that shapes our lives. Music is a shared experience, and once it leaves the studio, it’s a gift to the world, something that no longer belongs to the artist.
This is what called me into making music in the first place, and to support other artists in sharing theirs with the world. When we are dust, our music lives on. Many artists left this world long ago, and their music continues to impact the lives of people today. There are albums that are 40 years old that are discovered by every new generation, and continue to impact people’s lives with the same power they did they day they were released.
I don’t make music for glory, or money, or fame. I don’t seek to release music for recognition, power, or credibility. I want every musician to know that their art has indelibly touched someone’s soul, and to give listeners opportunities to find the song that will forever bring them back to those magical moments of their lives.
We have all been touched by music. I invite you to reply to this post, and share why you listen to music, and the ways that it touches your life.