Listening to Music
During my time of working on Music Row in Nashville, I had the privilege of getting to know a man who played piano in town. At first notice, this blind musician seemed a little out of place as he walked around the crowded studio with no cane and no help from anyone. But he did in fact have help. He had his ears. To know where to walk, all he had to do was to listen to the sound of his own voice and he knew. Although I just saw him as some kind of superhero at the time, what I take away from him to this day, is that when there is a lack of vision, we can be truly affected by what we hear. I know this is not really new information. We have seen it in movies, we see it even in bats, and maybe we have even momentarily recognized it. But we tend to forget this fact in regards to one of the most precious sounds we have: music. When we are taking in visual information, our sense of sound is under-prioritized. As a result, before our brain reacts to the music, it first has to process what we see and then finally it can get to the music. What makes this poignant, is that recorded music is one the great culminations of artists; musicians’ lives spent on their crafts, songwriters and composers sculpting their own selves into music, tens of thousands spent on one album and teams of musicians and technical professionals using millions of dollars of instruments and equipment to mold just the right sound. (Ever wonder why music studios are dark?) All of this is to simply say, go find a piece of music that you love, turn off the lights, close your eyes, and press play. And for god’s sake, turn it up.