January 26, 2024

Let’s take music seriously. It’s not for picking vegetables at a supermarket

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Klara Hammudeh in Oxford, United Kingdom

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October 13, 2019, Los Angeles, United States. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, known professionally as Lana Del Ray, performs at the Grammy Museum

Picture by: Justin Higuchi | Flickr

I recently spoke to my friend and casually asked him for some songs I could fall asleep to. He refused, saying he could not recommend any music for that purpose as it would be like sharing a movie to fall asleep to. To him, it would be offending the art.

“It takes courage, patience, and time to put a song or album out, especially something that reaches out of the typical, well-established genres,” he explained.

It got me thinking: why do we walk over music? Why do we listen to it when cooking or scrolling on Instagram?

Music is now being used to fill empty spaces. Is the room quiet? Turn on some jazz. If a video is too simple? Play Lady Gaga in the background. The greatest talent which humanity ever had to offer is now persistently used to assist everyday activities.

Have we lost the ability to appreciate music? When listening to a song while grocery shopping, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the amount of work that was put into its creation.

From the beginning: for the creation to be unique, the musician has to come up with an idea or be inspired by something or someone.

Next comes the writing process. In the case of many professional musicians, these efforts take a team of people who work for months before a record is finally released to the public – almost 30 people were credited for their involvement in recording Lana del Rey’s Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd song.

How is someone supposed to truly appreciate their effort when that song is streamed from YouTube when doing yoga?

Don’t get me wrong – I do listen to music when doing other things, but my point is that one has to focus to truly appreciate music.

Starting with little steps like putting down your phone and taking some time to just listen to the words and music and think of the process, which the author had to overcome to create the song – the idea, creation, production, it all takes very hard work.

To me, a good song has a hidden meaning, one that is like a poem. A perfect example of such a song is, again, Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, where Lana discusses the fear of being forgotten.

 

I can completely lose the sense of reality when listening to her angelic voice presenting the tunnel with ‘mosaic ceilings, painted tiles on the wall’ or hearing her asking not to be forgotten ‘like the tunnel under Ocean Boulevard’.

When I think of appreciation of music, I immediately think of vinyl records. In my opinion, they really present the beauty of this form of art.

You have to be very delicate with them because even one little scratch would ruin the album. Playing a record is a whole ritual – it takes precision to gently take the vinyl out of the cover and cautiously put it on the record player, for the sound to be perfect.

This is how I prepare myself to truly immerse myself in music without distractions.

Another form of appreciating music is dance – you have to feel every beat and word to create the perfect interpretation.

Every movement has to reflect something in the song. Every step is synchronised with the tune. The choreography tells a story, so you have to uncover the meaning of the song, and then take the effort to synchronise the words, the music, and the movement.

Thanks to my friend, I changed one thing – I stopped listening to music to fall asleep and I now start my ‘sleep’ playlist with more attention, to listen and slowly put my mind at ease.

I feel like the artists specifically created these songs to help their listeners reset their minds.

Written by:

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Klara Hammudeh

Contributor

Warsaw, Poland

Born in 2008 in Warsaw, Poland, Klara is planning on studying psychology in the United States.

She is very interested in reading, music and pop culture, especially West End musical adaptations of classic Disney stories.

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Sofiya Tkachenko

Editor-in-chief

Kyiv, Ukraine | Vienna, Austria

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