We turn to music because it has the ability to move us. It has the power to induce certain feelings and moods, states of mind. As such, music impacts our bodies in a way that no other art form does. While music may be associated with reminding us of specific memories, all of us have also had the pleasure of being transported to another place by the sheer greatness of music. Perhaps you found yourself suddenly in tears or perhaps suddenly feeling rather sublime or calm.
Nietzsche said, “We listen to music with our muscles.” Perhaps you are one of the many who understand what he means. Maybe you have been a witness to the uncontrollable force of music-a force that makes you sway your body from side to side or nod your head in time to the beat. Maybe this has happened to you at a concert and whether you were conscious of it or not, maybe you were a part of the group of people tapping their feet or swaying their bodies in unison to the sound.
If you were one of the few who went to Art House’s “Be Mine, Frankenstein” experimental concert last Friday night, you probably know what I am talking about. The event was a concert featuring bands from Puppyfish Records, a collective of musicians based in both Appleton and Janesville, Wisc. The first band of the night, Serbian band Warden from Janesville, started things off with a whole lot of quick riffs, distortion and reverb. Members Arya Sharifi and Andy Krebs started off playing two guitars for their first song before switching to a guitar-and-drum for the rest of their four-song set. What can I say? There’s nothing quite like a room of people head banging to music and feeling the walls and floors vibrate all around you.
The second band of the night was a band called Language. As per their description on the Puppyfish website, Language is a group of friends who have conversations. Their music, one that is heavily electronic, seems to grab you by the shoulders and transport you to realms and landscapes faraway from Appleton. With the lights turned off except for a tea lamp casting an intimate glow, it was like being in a cosmic landscape or experiencing the effects of a psychedelic drug. I even looked around the room and sure enough, everyone had their eyes closed and was enjoying the temporary escapism that Language was providing them.
Now, here is my advice for you: Do not be reduced to passive listening. Sure, passive listening is great when you are studying, or taking a leisurely walk, but sometimes it is nice to enjoy the exciting and bonding power of music. So the next time you see a poster for a concert or music festival, make time to attend it and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.