I discovered the then little known music program Hearts of Space via the local NPR station when I was barely into my 20s and I really enjoyed it a lot. Recently, I have reconnected with the music program. Mainly because when I am away from home I find it soothing and comforting. The tranquil quality of the music centers my mind, and not only when things get hectic. I find the music helps me maintain a sense of balance and equilibrium. Who doesn’t need more of that?
I am pretty sure the HoS music program (and Echoes) were the first music shows that really got me to think about music differently. How music didn’t have to have lyrics to be beautiful and understood. Of course we learned that from listening to both Classical and Jazz, right? But for me this “ambient music” was something wholly different. I felt an instant, almost spiritual and mindful connection, which I did not glean from other genres of music at first take.
As a parent of twins who are on the autism spectrum I have witnessed the soothing power of music first hand. Our youngest twin has fickle sensory issues and soft soothing music calms him. He has a penchant for Smooth Jazz and prefers to listen to it over any other kind of music. But I am going to introduce him to Hearts of Space and see if he enjoys this too. I am thinking he will.
I first heard the artist Lyla Foy on the Echoes music show over the summer. Available courtesy of Sub Pop Records. Buy now on Amazon and iTunes.
So, I have learned that music has the power to calm. Naturally, the former statement is something we have heard since we were little. Most of us are familiar with the William Congreve quote, “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast.” or at least variations of it ala Bugs Bunny. Yet, to see it played out in one’s own family is sobering and an absolute godsend. But music also possesses the power to expand and inspire us on so many different and divergent levels. And for that reason we can guess this is why music has been, and will continue to be, a major part of the ever evolving human experience.
Cellist Yoed Nir played a live in house session on Echoes recently. His latest release The Next Dream is out now. Buy on Amazon or iTunes.
And finally. How music, the right music, can be meditative. Constantly fostering and or encouraging a deeper understanding (overstanding) of what it means to be human. I think this is the true power and value of most artistic endeavors. How the arts force us to feel, look and imagine. But I think the arts also allow us to, if not excise then to some extent, lesson our pain by observing and taking in their beauty. And this exchange or transference is a thing to be longed for and sought after again and again…
And in the end if we can channel the right positive energy, perhaps all is possible (and bearable).