Let me attempt to paint a picture and some sound with words here for a moment.
The venue was sold out. I got there fifteen minutes after the doors had opened and stood in line around the entire block for a half hour before getting in. The place was packed, the line for the merch table was so long it was getting lost in the crowd eagerly waiting for the show to begin. The first band started and I was at the back of the crowd, waiting in line. I like to get my merch at the beginning of the show because I’m small and my size sells out quickly.
Within thirty seconds of their performance, the floor was shaking from I Prevail telling the crowd to jump. I couldn’t help but bob along while I stood in line and wished I was in the middle of that crowd. I made my purchase and shoved my way into the crush of people just in time to participate in a wall of death at the start of the second song that opened up a pit that spanned half of the floor. It was exhilarating, my blood was rushing, the music shook me.
By the time the band I came to see began to play my throat was nearly raw from screaming support to the first band, I was exhausted from bashing my face on someone else’s head during the second band’s set and my legs were shaking from dancing and jumping. But I summoned the last of my strength and sang my heart out for Hollywood Undead because I’m that fan who knows every word to every song.
I get so much shit for the music I listen to and have for as long as I can remember, from everyone: parents, friends, coworkers, strangers. I’m so used to it that it surprises me to meet new people who understand what I feel. And I feel so much.
Last night, my heart felt like it was falling out of my throat with every word that I sang and my blood was pumping so hard it felt like my veins might burst. Art is meant to make you feel and I felt so strong last night. Music is art.
Music has inspired me for so long that I can hardly separate song from my writing. I listen to music when I write, as I write this, I’m listening to Shinedown’s new album “Threat to Survival.” Last night as I drove home from the show, high off of adrenaline, I listened to my newly purchased copy of I Prevail’s debut EP “Heart Vs. Mind” on repeat for two hours and I drafted this blog entry in my head and in the notes section of my phone. I have a specific playlist built for the first novel I wrote and I still rely on that playlist occasionally when I need support from the past to write something new.
It is a thing that is difficult to put into words because music is only partially words and only that if you listen to music with words, but I write hoping that you will understand, if only just a little.
So much emotion goes into music, you can feel it in every instrument, in every word that is sang and the way it is sung. When I write, I try to encompass the kind of emotion that music does. Obviously with writing, I can only take the single element of words and only mimic the rhythm and voice of instruments, but damn do I try my hardest.
I’ve been told that my prose reads a lot like poetry and not one of my teachers were ever surprised to learn that I write poetry as well. Poems are similar to lyrics in the sense that every word counts a lot more, since there are less of them and often times poetry is read with music accompanying it. You’ll also hear words like rhythm, cadence, and beat used to describe poetry, relating it to music. Music uses words and words can have a sort of musicality to them. This is why I draw so much inspiration from music.
Writing takes a lot of emotion, ask any writer. It sucks a piece of your soul out through your fingertips. The act of creating is very emotional and music both drives me to express that emotion and helps me to control the feelings. It is a very magical thing.
I’m not completely certain I will ever be able to truly explain just how much music has impacted my life, but here I hope that I was able to show you just a little of what it has done for me. My writing would not be where it is now if not for the music that fuels me to continue onward and inspire me with new rhythm in my work.
It is my dearest, most selfish hope that my writing becomes the soundtrack to someone’s life, that my poetry is the music reflected in their eyes. The day my novel becomes the song that saved someone’s life will be the day that I have accomplished my goal.