I like my music loud. I don’t care if it’s a blood-pounding set by Metallica or the sultry voice of Michael Bublé charming a smile out of me on my worst day, I want to feel drenched in the sound to my very bones and the center of my chest. Yeah, I tend to be ‘that obnoxious person’ sitting in their car with the music so loud you can hear it clearly 30 feet away standing on the sidewalk. Why do I need my music so gods-cursed loud? Because I seek the immersion into an aesthetic experience that launches me out of the humdrum to supercharge my system for tackling life head-on. A part of me recognizes the vitality in those bits of sound that vibrate my delicate, human eardrums.
Ever since I can remember, this ability, this need, to sink into music and share my ecstasy with people around me through singing and dancing has been with me (my parents will laughingly remember the attempts of their skinny little 7-year-old to sing and dance along with the Riverdance 1995 VHS). Not with all songs but with some, my breath catches in my chest, a prickling sensation works its way up my legs, spine, arms, and scalp, and I cannot help but move if only just a little bit. Whether it is wiggling in my chair and lip-syncing while sitting at work or pounding out a rhythmn on the steering wheel with my fingers as I belt it out with the radio, I am moved to surrender myself (and any sense of shyness or ‘dignity’, if only for a couple minutes) to the energy that surges through me.
In my mind’s eye, especially when I cannot physically get up and dance, I can picture myself as a pulsing, sparking, shining body of colorful and ever-shifting lights (think like the iPod commercials from 2007 but with a black background and person filled with multicolored lights). Often I think that it would be one of the coolest inventions ever if someone could create a program that mimics this experience.
Music is so much more than enjoyment for me. It is an activation deep in the core of myself to Express, to Live. At once meditative and ecstatic, the part of me touched by the experience cannot possibly be separate from my spiritual self. Though much of my ‘spirituality’ is heavily nature-based, sounds that are not necessarily produced by nature (trance, dubstep, and so on) can be just as potent. I can only hope that I am not the only one who can tap into this wondrous quality of music.