After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
― Aldous Huxley
Today’s Writing 101 prompt is to write about the three most important songs in your life. Well, true to my track record so far, I am not going to do that! For one thing, I find it impossible to choose just three songs. But I will say something about music more generally. Music is a big part of our family life. Both my children play piano to a high standard and they each have a second instrument, trumpet for my son and clarinet for my daughter. (She also plays the didgeridoo!) My daughter composes and recently she and a friend won a contest with a song they wrote and performed.
Not surprisingly for a photographer, I am a very visual person. I have no musical talent whatsoever but have often thought that of all creative endeavours, music is one of the most powerful in its ability to affect one on a visceral level. Darwin argued that music came before speech, and that feels right to me.
Now that I have two myself, I have been reminded that teenagers need music with the urgency of a biological imperative. Separate them from it for too long (say, more than five minutes) and they become quite incapable of coherent function. How and why, as we age, we become less dependent on music is beyond my ken. But when I rehear an old favourite song, after a long absence, I realise that music can still move me. It has the power more than any other thing to cut through the baggage of adult life and remind me what it was like to be that essential, earthy thing that is a teenager. I hope it always will.
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
― Maya Angelou