In my overtired and overemotional state that seems to be my norm of late I was missing my grandpa something fierce the other day and wishing I could just spend some time with him. I longed to go back in time to when my cousins and I would gather in his living room listening to and discussing music and his memories. I also recently read a book about a girl who is obsessed with music and could quote songs and bands and lines of lyrics and dates and albums like nobodies business. (I took notes the entire time of bands and songs I needed to familiarize myself with.) And then this past Sunday afternoon I was able to spend some time with a friend after church trading ipods and discussing various bands, types of music, favorite pieces, and listening to snippets of songs from high school and childhood, bits of Bach and Beethoven and everything in between.
And I realized that while music plays a huge part in my life (I have a constant soundtrack going practically 24/7) it's almost always in the background, as a filler or being interrupted. Rarely do I take the time to focus on just listening to a piece. Even when I'm at a concert part of my attention is spent watching the performers or taking in the audience (or jumping around screaming and singing along if it's appropriate to do so) or being otherwise engaged and not fully concentrating on just hearing and experiencing the music itself.
And then I was reminded of a time back in college when I was forced to use music to fall asleep in order to drown out the squeaky couch downstairs and/or the slightly off-color long distance phone calls in the next room. As I've been having some trouble sleeping lately I thought maybe I'd try a little experiment. Last night I made myself a cup of hot vanilla chamomile tea, put on my fuzziest socks, turned out all the lights and snuggled under the covers before pushing play on my stereo. And then I closed my eyes and just listened. I soaked up the soulful sounds, breathed in the beats and relaxed to the rhythms, until I finally fell asleep, carried to dreamland on the dulcet tones of Mr. Davis' horn. It was the best sleep I've had in weeks (though that really isn't saying much and the sleeping pill probably played a part as well.)
So, close your eyes and take a few minutes to just relax and listen, absorb the music and then tell me which pieces or artists I should include on a nighttime playlist. (Seriously, I want suggestions. My very sleep depends on it!)