I had a rather strange relationship with music for quite a long time, and it took me years to figure out exactly why particular things happened and how they happened.
Today, I’ve solved most of the mystery, and I can happily say that my own sounds are the sonic representation of myself, what I feel, and what I believe in.
Feelings, mind-games and abilities
Before I get any further, I just gonna point out that my relationship to music always has been very special – in fact the most special of any medium I’ve ever been in touch with. Also, I’m quite certain, that music makes/made me feel certain emotions stronger than the absolute majority. I don’t know what it’s like for you, but all the way up until I was 19 years old – music could almost totally take control over my conciousness. It may sound weird – maybe this is normal – I don’t really know – because we’re all different – but I’ve not seen or heard many others react to music like this. Unless they’ve been under the influence of drugs. And I’ve been sober as a judge for 28 years with the exception of one beer in 2009 which made me giggly for a few minutes.
With this explained, the following story will make more sense.
My earliest and strongest musical memory for many years to follow, probably dates back to 1994. I’m not sure, but it’s very early.
My dad has always been listening to mostly instrumental music, from the late 50’s to the mid 70’s. His world consists of The Shadows, Spotnicks, The Ventures and similar bands and sounds from this era.
So, these are the sounds I heard before I even know what they were. But one day, I was conscious enough to actually listen and reflect over what I heard. And that was when dad played the tracks from ”The Ventures” that he had recorded onto audio-cassette-tape from two vinyl-records. At the moment, I can’t find the exact two vinyls, but I know the title of the most important track in this context; Telstar.
Even right now, all these years down the line, I remember it as if it was a few weeks ago. And it took years to eventually be able to put words on what I felt (In fact, I think it was in late 2017 or early 2018 I could finally put it into words) – but in one word and to keep it simple – it would be; euphoria. It was incredibly strong, the sound was totally merging with my feelings and imagination – and it was almost more than I could handle. After the song faded out, I wondered what on earth I had just experienced. It felt as if I had been on an amazing journey into a fantastic world of emotion. Believe me, it has taken me a while to finally get to the moment when I can put this life-changing moment into words in such a concise manner, hehe.
So on topic again; Allthough it was fantastic, it was also somewhat scary. Because I did not understand what I had just experienced. Daddy took some notice of course, but he didn’t know what was going on inside the mini-XFAiDER, until about 23 years later. Talk about delivery-time!
The other tracks on the tape/vinyls were all resonating with me in different ways. And I understood quite quickly, that this was how I functioned. I couldn’t turn it off, or learn how to control it until I was 19 years or so.
As time went on, new songs from other genres came and went, and the emotional journeys were still wild with many of the songs I heard. It could bring my mood and feelings into literally any direction. So I had to be careful of what I listened to in order to function like normal, and sometimes it was just not possible! I remember how ”Carrie” by Europe totally downed me for days! And the thought of the intro could get the tears streaming and downing my mood for hours, or even an entire day. If I remember correctly, this was in 1995-1996. It can still happen today though! It happens a number of times every year!
I’m not trying to make it look like ”I’m the only one feeling stuff when listening to music” because it is indeed very common.
I just want to share my experience, just to see where on the spectrum I am. I know there are even more extreme cases than me though!
And this leads me to another thing I really want to share with the world. I guess most people don’t work like me in the following regard.
Something I also noticed before turning 7, was that I could remember particular details, events, sounds, a particular section of a song, the patterns involved, timbres, rhythms etc – very clearly – and also putting something completely new in my memory very quickly.
What I mean is, that I can memorize sections of a song, in high detail, and eventually, a section of a track will ”play on repeat” in my mind, in a loop. Sometimes, in ”severe” cases – two or three ”loops” can run simultaneously in my mind for minutes.
Fortunately enough, the triple-loop just happens a few times a year.
But, everyday, I have at least one loop going for almost the entire day. Today as I sit here and type, two loops are on my mind, and this time I can choose which one I want to think of. I’m quite sure that not everyone works like this.
It’s a cool, useful ability, but since it’s almost impossible to control what’s going on, it can make it really difficult to focus on other things. And as I mentioned, this is still going on even to this day, and it’s very useful in my development as a musician. But just like the feeling-storms I mentioned earlier, it has also caused problems in some cases, as I really can’t turn the ability off. It works very much on autopilot, and it’s oftenly difficult to control.
With this said, I feel at home during music-sessions; because it helps a lot with sound design and selecting nuances of the big elements as well as the smallest details.
Last but definately not least;
1: If I’ve listened to a lot of music during the day, I might continue to dream about the songs and hear them in my dreams in high detail. This Thursday last week in June 2018, I dreamed of a number of synthwave tracks one after the other – and the other night I dreamed about some of my biggest hard-trance favs from my teenage years.
2: I’ve dreamed about sections of songs in great detail, woken up, beatboxed and documented the details as carefully as I’ve could for future projects. This has happened over 10 times in the last 5 years, and even before that. Even with lyrics. In some cases I’ve woken up, remembered what I’ve dreamed, but been too tired / not had time to record what I’ve dreamed. I’m certain that this has happened over 20 times, and I expect this to become more common as my music-sessions will become more intense and longer i 2019!
This is part one of what music is doing with me – in the next section I’ll discuss my relationship with music as an art-form.
-More to follow, and will be updated!