For the past year I feel like I’ve been in a pit of emotional flatness. I returned to my home country after having studied and lived in England for 6.5 years. After 6.5 years I returned to this place where my musical friends are not, this place where live music, rock music and musical cultures are still kind of underground, and not as widely appreciated or readily accessible as it is in England.
Over my years of studying in England I was lucky enough to meet the many talented and diverse teachers, fellow musicians and friends whom allowed me to try out so many different things. These amazing individuals gave me some of the most fun experiences, some of the best memories, and taught me so much. In those moments of making music, be it singing in a chapel, playing in a concert hall, jamming in a tiny room or performing on stage…I felt truly alive. When I’m making music I feel like I am who I truly want to be.
I never understood people who say that music don’t matter to them, or doesn’t influence them very much, because I just couldn’t comprehend how anyone could not appreciate such a wonderful creation. Music is a universal language; it allows people to come together and create something beautiful – it doesn’t matter what language you speak, where you’re from, what race or orientation you are…etc. But most importantly, music moves me – musical numbers make me want to dance and sing my heart out; rock music make me want to scream and jump up and down; Beethoven and Bach make my heart ache…
This past year I made no music at all, I mean, yes I did sing and strum the guitar occasionally at home, and I played my violin too, but it’s not the same. For some time now I felt like I was living in a mental prison, where I locked away the little musician inside. I also felt like many things didn’t matter – I am a very sentimental person as you can probably tell already (lol), and I get mood swings very often. This year I learned about mindfulness and I feel like I learned to let go of a lot of things, be less stubborn, and be more grateful and happy. But at the same time I feel like I also just felt less (not because of mindfulness, I just did). I didn’t just become less sad, I became less.
This is why I really liked La La Land – I hadn’t heard music that made me want to dance, in a long time. It’s not like I just stopped listening to music altogether, music simply stopped having any effect on me in the past year…until I went to see La La land. Of course, I’m not saying it’s the best musical ever, my point was just that after this emotionally and musically dull year, going to see La La Land and hearing its music made me happy again – it released the little musician from the prison.
I just love how music, especially orchestral music, can dictate my mood (and probably affect yours too!). Think about the times when you were at a cinema watching a fantasy, action or drama film – the music shapes the mood, Hans Zimmer and John Williams are the best examples. From Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception and Dark Knight to Jaws, Harry Potter and Star Wars…those simple melodies are no longer just a string of notes, but now whenever we hear it we immediately recognise the film. Or even when you’re at home huddled up in your couch watching a horror film or a thriller – the discordant piano, the clashing strings creep up…It is a lot of what makes you scared in a horror film, what excites you in an action film, and so many more; it creates the ambiance and immerses the audience into the fictional world.
Listening to the La La Land songs made me want to do music again; it reminded me of happy I am when I play or sing with my friends/fellow musicians; it freed the little musician.