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music: emotional time travel

Ok, so it's late and I'm listening to the Counting Crows, a group that I absolutely loved ten years ago, but have not listened to in years. These songs, composed of multiple layers: piano, guitar, Duritz' voice, and yes, the haunting lyrics, drudge up memories from times long gone. But, these memories are not in the form of images, rather they are waves of emotion that move through my body, nearly bringing me to tears. Yet these are not tears of sadness. Instead they are tears of a knowing disconnect. A disconnect between my mind and body, brought on by the music which has transported my mind back ten years.

How can music do this? What is it about the pairing of sound and words? Do they create some unique form of narrative that covers the surface of our brain, blanket-like, yet anchored deep to the brain stem via tent stakes that jolt the body with emotional surges?

I can't help but think of the materiality that music has in terms of how it influences the body's physiological functions: heart rate, breathing, tears, clenched fists, all via emotional reactions to deep-seeded swirls, be they memories or emotions.

As someone interested in the various ways of making meaning, I often get caught up with the visual, and its related literacy practices. Yet, I largely ignore the rhetorical power and potency of sound.

Daylight fading Come and waste another year All the anger and the eloquence are bleeding into fear Moonlight creeping around the corners of our lawn When we see the early signs that daylight's fading We leave just before it's gone Counting Crows

With that I say good night.



The Counting Crows do the same thing for me.

I wanna be the light that burns out your eyes
`cause I know there's little things about me
that would sing in the silence of so much rejection
in every connection I make.