I recently came across a quote while visiting a friend’s house. It said,” Music expresses that which cannot be said.” The quote has stuck with me because it seemed to epitomize the whole reason why I listen to and write about music. As someone who loves words, I have learnt that there are some moments where words can never truly do them justice. That is, when we listen to music. It is when we make music. It is when those moments that are too much are now manageable because we can hear what we are feeling, even if the emotions are too deep to be understood. Often, it feels like music is our oxygen.
Do you remember the first time you truly fell in love with music? For me, I am taken back to a memory of my thirteen year old self. Our teen years are difficult enough for the best of us, and mine often felt marred by a continual battle with depression and anxiety. It was always hardest for me at night as I knew that I had to get up for school the next day. As I struggled with incessant insomnia, I would hide under my covers and only, when necessary, would leave and take a panicked dash so I could return to the safety of my bed as soon as possible.
It was in these moments that I truly learned the significance of music. In 2003 Australian Idol came to Australia. In its first year, it took the country by storm. You were either Team Shannon (Noll) or Team Guy (Sebastian). I made it through my days and nights by watching and re-watching recorded episodes on the VCR. (Remember those things? Good times.) I was a hardcore Guy fan, which is pretty obvious considering I still review his music today, and his music was nearly all I would think about. In fact, it was the only thing that would make me smile.
During those nights where sleep wouldn’t come, and on those days I fought so hard to implement the strategies my therapist taught me, his music was my safety blanket. I would sing the bright poppy melodies and imagine them chasing away the dark. I would look forward to new tunes, compare notes with other fans and was able to see him in concert.
Early on it was a teeny bopper obsession. But looking back, I realize it was something much more- it was a reminder that life was worth fighting for. It was my oxygen when I felt it running out. I feel like much of Guy Sebastian‘s early music defines my teen years because it takes me back to that little girl fighting to make it through the night. The melody possessed a joy I forgot existed, and so it became a means of survival.
I think music often becomes that unseen, beautiful character in our stories. It ties together the moments and helps us up make sense of life and who we really are. I am always amazed by a musician’s ability to perfectly tell a story through music and lyrics. Somehow, they find the words when we can’t. And often, it is what is left unsaid in their song that changes us the most.
What is your song? What is the melody that seems to envelope your life? Right now, I keep going back to Steffany Gretzinger’s “Morning Song.” It sums up my hopes and dreams for the new year, but most of all, it awakens my spirit so I am able to believe for better things again.
What music has changed your life? We’d love to hear your story, because as much as we all walk our own individual journeys, music is our reminder that we can share them with each other. Let us know below.