I was thinking about the musicians and bands that would be on a “Soundtrack of my life” earlier today. As I created the list in my head I jumped from scene to scene, recalling events, places and people I have known. I have always loved music and found that music expresses for me what I am often unable to express verbally, even to myself. That being the case, I have listened to and loved nearly every kind of music I could get my hands on. I spent much of my youth nearly attached to a speaker or next to an amplifier at a show, soaking in all I could. As I began to practice yoga I found call and response chanting, Kirtan, and expanded my interest to include music from all over the world. I was often profoundly moved to feel that I was connected to something larger than myself, a world consciousness of sorts. I couldn’t understand when others didn’t feel what I felt. How could anyone not be so moved? I still find that hard to understand, but we each have our unique ability to listen what we are designed to hear.
So, as a David Bowie line popped into my consciousness when I typed the title for today’s post, I see that I need to add him to my Life-Soundtrack. As I type this now a dance tune has come on on another computer in my house and I find myself tapping my foot in time with the beat, my mood shifting to become more upbeat and energized.
Recently, I realized that my life-soundtrack lately has been kind of like elevator music. It’s been playing, but its been mostly quiet and pretty bland. Other than a few punctuations of beautiful chanting and imprompue songs around a fire, not much has been happening of note. Clearly it is time I put some thought into this soundtrack thing. I still love music and I frequently listen to new music and purchase what moves me – literally. I am a yoga teacher and continually amazed at the power of music to inspire both movement and breath.
I know of no one who can’t name a song they have loved or a band or musician they have spent many hours listening to. Music characterizes generations, cultures and people’s all over the world and has for thousands of years. Your life-soundtrack can characterize and define you. So, what is your life-soundtrack?
Here is my list (at least for today), in no particular order.
Led Zeppelin, Cat Stephens, David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, The Vandals, Misfits, The Damned, Gen X, Live, Metallica, The Cranberries, Sarah McLaughlin, Loreena McKennett, U2, Concrete Blond, Tori Amos, Chris Isaak, Cowboy Junkies, White Stripes, Deva Premal, Hole, Jimmie Hendrix, Stray Cats, Duran Duran, Mazzy Star, David Grey, the Skatellites…
I know there are at least two dozen more I am omitting. The thing is, each artist and song is the most important when I discover them or find a song that really speaks to me. The list changes daily, hourly, minute to minute. I love it all. I could probably tell you exactly where I was, with whom, and what time of day it was when I was listening to each artist on my list at the time when I realized that particular artist or song spoke to me in a powerful way. Music is power, made fluid. It can sooth the soul, activate the heart, ground us in an experience and connect us to the rest of the world like no other thing can. It removes barriers and heals what hurts us.
So, what is your life-soundtrack? When have you been powerfully moved by music? Who is on your list?