Music/Book Reviews

Experience Freedom in Sound

 

This is a music appreciation moment brought to you by the 80s–but the sound is timeless. Try to suspend judgment when you find out who the artist is. Maybe give it a chance to be something more.

Every time I hear this song, I put it on repeat, until I have to get out of the car or leave the house for an obligation. The construction of it is unlike any I’ve ever heard–it transcends words, induces feelings with accuracy without the need to define anything. It provides the essence of liberation–something that frees me from concerns of any moment. It’s a cover, but that is of no matter because it is a holistic, single work that builds steadily into its unique effect.

You can access the song here–but please, PLEASE avoid watching the video at first … I mean, it basically feeds you one very narrow idea of what the piece could be about. It’s disabling, the imagery, unless you are into narrow thinking around music or prefer someone spoon feeding you how it’s supposed to make you feel. I am strong in my opinion of this because music can actually deepen your perceptions of your own feelings and expand your thinking around reality … but this is often killed by bad videos, and this case will be no exception if you don’t take matters into your own hands and own the sounds alone, right off the bat.

The song is about a man stuck in traffic on a highway in Los Angeles. The sky, the air, everything starts to blur as he slips into a sleep. Let it be about you, stuck in traffic, stuck in the loop of a concern, a worry, anything narrow, stuck. You can connect with that feeling of being trapped, the cello signals a haunting sense of surrender into a place in the mind that transcends a traffic jam. You identify with him sitting in a ‘gleeming metal tube along Santa Monica Blvd,’ for it could be any Blvd, anywhere in the world, it could be a thought, a feeling, anything gripping you, trapping you as you start to go limp, like a fish hooked in the mouth.

The shift from trapped to free begins at 3 mins, ‘this is the story of his dream.’

A hand has grabbed you and pulled the hook from your mouth, you wriggle as the drum beats. You actually feel yourself slip into a fantasy land of water if you only let go. The video, the original title of the piece, they all allude to conquest but that is such a narrow definition. The song is a chance to feel a dream and get the sense of yourself as a flower opening, a butterfly stretching its wings a fish darting jubilently through the open water, leaping out into the air, knifing below the surface again and exploring an expanse. The flute implies air, flight, ascension.The tempo and climbing strings imply pushing upward, through water. All of nature, the blood flowing through the channels of the body–pumping, breathing, lifting, living, again.

Until the quiver of strings signals the inevitable. Yes, 5:31 is pushing it for a pop track–but you can always repeat it.

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