A Sound to Remember

I was going to start this article saying that everyone here on Earth is so different, and mention the contradiction of how we all seem to share the similarity of enjoying music.  I was going to pose this statement to you in a rhetorical question and then explain to you why we all enjoy music, but I realized I don’t really know why. I think it is because it reflects the adversities and joys we experience in our lives, and then connects them with our emotions. This is my theory, not a fact. Wow, I am really just giving you my stream of conscious today aren’t I? If you wanted to see inside my mind, here it is!

So, I wrote this lengthy introduction to tell you about a band named M83. I don’t actually listen to their music, except for one song, but the song is exceptional. You’ve probably heard it before, it’s in a lot of movies, and it does have one of those sounds that is perfect as you watch the main character who just resolved his or her major conflict fade into the sunset in a “in the moment nostalgia” type way. Do you ever have that? Nostalgia for the moment you are living in? Like you know you’re going to look back on a moment and smile and get those happy feelings you get just from remembering it all before you’ve even finished experiencing it.

This song, “Midnight City”, gives me that feeling every time I listen to it. It makes me look at the world around me with newfound wonder and gratitude. When I listen to it, I feel like “Wow! This is my life, I’m experiencing this now!” and it’s profound, deep, meaningful, not how it sounds when your reading this article. A feeling always sounds stupid until you feel it. In one word, “Midnight City” is the sound of resolution.

As I’ve been writing you, I’ve been listening to M83 in the background. “Oblivion” and “Wait” are also both really good. I mean they are good in the truest sense of the word. They aren’t fabulous, but they are better than mediocre. Good. Maybe even somewhere indefinite between good and great. It’s a scale, you know.

One night, I was driving on the highway alone in my car, listening to Spotify with the windows down and my left palm out the window, waving against the pressure of the wind. I was in a quiet kind of sad mood, and “Midnight City” came on, and I had a revelation: sad Morgan enjoyed it in her sad vibes almost as much as happy Morgan did. It appealed to both moods, and furthermore it applies to any mood.  It’s sharp beat satisfies anger, its electronic sounds satisfy the raw energy of excitement, it’s fading, ephemeral voice lends to nostalgia. It lives, almost as multi-dimensionally as a human, but even more so, like a big city; It can be more than one thing at once. Taxis with their shining red tail lights are honking, a heavy, old gray-haired man in a leather jacket takes a long drag on his cigarette, a young couple strolls while holding hands, a laugh echos in the distance. It’s so dynamic in every way, and it all fits together in a symphony. It shouldn’t all fit togeather so perfectly, yet it does. And that is what distinguishes a good song from a great song.

To be honest, I didn’t think this was going to get so deep or personal, but I’m glad it did. I believe, with my whole being, that music is essential for the human race. A man named Robert once told me “Music is a higher state of consciousness” because you can “be sad but see the beauty in it, and we don’t do that in real life.” Yes, Robert does sound like an old wizard, and yes he is a real man I know who said this to me. What he said impacted me, because I had recognized the feeling of experiencing more than one emotion simultaneously while listening to music, but never had been able to move the thought of it from my subconscience to my conscience, much less analyze it. Music tells you who you are and aren’t. It puts you in touch with yourself by relating your life to your emotions. Sometimes it lets your emotions take control, but it’s safe. You’re not damaging anyone by screaming the lyrics of a song, but you’re getting to display how you feel. It externalizes your internal self. It is of monumental importance.

To be in touch with that side of yourself, rarely presents itself in an everyday opportunity. That’s the beauty of art, you explore your mind in relation to your emotions, you discover things you never knew were there. I discovered things I didn’t know until I wrote this article. That is art.