I have the eclectic musical tastes of an unsupervised kid clutching a cool hundred dollar bill, running full-tilt down the aisles of a candy store.
My playlist looks like an unmedicated mental illness with a splash of personality disorder to make it extra spicy.
In other words, it’s a chaotic mess but music has always moved me in ways that I can’t explain.
Well, actually, I don’t have to explain because a neuroscientist way smarter and more educated than me already figured it out.
You guessed it, feeling music physically, is part of my neurodivergence that’s pretty cool.
The first time I heard the song, “Message” by Vangelis, I broke into tears. The music reached into my soul, washing over me with the sweetness of sound that nearly stopped the breath in my lungs.
Another song with a similar impact was “Requiem for a Dream” composed by Clint Mansell for the movie of the same name. I can’t explain how this song moves me but it stops me in my tracks every time. That building crescendo of musical perfection plucks at my creative soul until all I can do is surrender to the beauty of sound dancing across my nerve endings.
And then, there’s a little known gem by an Icelandic band, Sigur Ros, titled, “Glósóli” that coupled with the music video makes me sob because the symbolism reaches into my cold, dark heart, squeezing without mercy — and I love it.
But here comes the UNO reverse card of my musical tastes … I can easily switch from sweeping, heart-rending symphonic masterpieces to the head-banging metal of my misguided youth without blinking an eye. For context, Metallica, Slayer, Death Angel, and lest we forget, all the good ‘80s hair bands, Poison, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Def Leppard (the list goes on).
The classics also have a place in my heart — The Doors, The Beatles, Stevie Nicks, Journey — and my childhood nostalgia kicks in with memories of my mom and her extensive album collection that ranged from Black Sabbath to Linda Rondstadt and The Guess Who.
So, it’s little wonder that when I’m in creative mode, music is an integral part of my process.
YouTube is an amazing free resource for finding a smorgasbord of musical options that I use even more frequently than Spotify and Pandora (which are paid services), and I like to share little, newfound treasures with my fellow creatives.
Currently, I’m happily obsessed with this musical channel on YouTube called, The Vault of Ambience, because it just makes me feel warm, fuzzy, and creative, which is a triple win for someone like me. Check it out if movie scores are your thing. I think you’ll really enjoy it.
We’ve always shared our love of music with our kids and now, each have an appreciation for a wide variety of sounds but for the first time since our daughter was three-years-old, we’re headed back to the symphony.
I’m excited to re-expose our youngest to the wonder of experiencing music you can feel in your bones as people create concert magic.
And that’s really what it is.
If you haven’t already, treat yourself to a symphony performance. Take your kids. Expose them to more than their corner of the world through the delight of sound.
Learning to appreciate gifts beyond your own, marveling at the artistry of another, and surrendering yourself to the wonder of harmony is a gift to yourself and those you love.
Be good, people.
And with that, I bid you adieu, and I’ll see you on the other side of the holidays.
Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide occasional columns.