Friday, 26 April 2013


As much as I find music to be an inspiration, it can also be a distraction. Sometimes a song will play randomly which alters my emotional state, whether for better or worse depends on the song and the emotional connection I have to it.

I tend to listen to music as a means of distracting myself from my thoughts, thoughts which tend to affect me negatively. The problem with doing this is that it also means that I'm unable to think on those thoughts and root out the cause of them.

Furthermore, because I tend to listen to the same bands, songs, and albums, there is a sense of expectation that the music will help me to achieve a certain feeling or state of mind. Everyone knows what I'm talking about; that song that gets your hips moving of their own volition, or the sad song that always seems to find it's way into a playlist when you're feeling down. Other times a familiar song will play, one that you forgot about, and it's almost as if you've ingested some drug or the effect of a few beers has finally risen to the surface. I love those moments. Much the same as the aforementioned substances, those moments can be negative as well. If that song takes your mind away from the task or thought at hand, as good as it feels it is also setting you back a step or two because it's brought your thoughts to another place, another time.

I always figure that I can somehow use the energy in a song to help propel me onwards and upwards, but a lot of the time I end up caught up in the message of the song, or at least my interpretation of the message and whatever the song has come to mean to me. We usually build an emotional connection to a song to the point that those emotions arise habitually and automatically alter our thinking patterns.

The interesting thing about music is that it takes a very special situation to alter your already established emotional connection with a particular track. There are some songs that remind me of particular stretches of time in my life, times that weren't the greatest, which have altered how I feel when I hear those songs. I can no longer see them objectively because the sensation of emotions from that time slide back on up to the surface automatically, habitually even.

What I'm looking for now is a way to obtain a better understanding of my thoughts and emotions without resorting to music all of the time. A large portion of the thoughts in my mind are songs or beats from songs which just play on repeat. These are personal distractions which I've set up for myself in order to avoid other thoughts. Yet because music, like a drug, makes you feeling instantly gratified, it is at the very least a satisfying way to avoid more difficult thoughts.

I think I'll write again on music in a future post.

- Dave

1 comment:

  1. Music tends to provide a white noise for me, at least these days while I work. I'll just have music on because it's something that my mind can simply tune out unlike conversations of people buzzing around me. I'm a music lover and devour new music almost daily(thanks Rdio!) but I rarely have a problem with it distracting me while I work. I kinda just let it wash over me and if something does stand out I'll make note and give it another listen when I have the time to really analyze and critique. It's hard to say if I'm really listening to it or if I'm just hearing it I suppose.

    There are songs and bands that I know will bring me down so I just try to avoid those when I'm either not in the right mental space or I just don't have time to ponder the depths of, well, me.