Hold on. Before you start reading through this article, I implore you to make yourself a coffee. Get yourself a hot cup and keep it at your arm’s length for convenient sipping, and tell yourself, “I’ve earned this.”
Let’s begin then.
Do you know why most watches in commercials show the time 10:10? Well, most say that it’s the “exact” time the Second World War broke out. That’s not so. Notice how the hands sort of form a tick-mark. And what do you associate tick-marks with? Something that’s correct and positive. See, it’s a marketing technique, having a radiating aura of positivity sells stuff? Now, since we’re talking about watches, let’s talk about time; or rather, the sound of it. Press your watch, or any time measuring device you have, against your ear and listen with eyes closed. Take a moment to appreciate the ticking sound. That’s 60 beats per minute. “All You Ever Wanted” by The Black Keys, this song too is of 60 bpm. I highly recommend you to listen to it. You get extra non-existent points if you listen to it whilst reading this.
Okay, sip your warm drink; it shouldn’t be that hot now. Good? Good.
Now we’ve come to the core of this cluster of words; music. Do you remember the first time you heard this magical arrangement of complimenting audible frequencies we call music? My fondest memories of it is when I was a little kid, cruising with my dad in the car during a winter night. A whiff of a/c dust and car perfume, drowsy eyes, and Whitesnake’s “Is this Love” softly playing in the stereo. Take another sip of your coffee and reminiscent for a while, smile a nostalgic smile.
When I was in grade 8th, I would lock myself in my room with my portable cassette player, the lights would be off and this was my haven, and still is. A year later, I got my first ever real instrument that I wanted to play with all my heart, a bass guitar. I taught myself to play the instrument in that dark room of placidity, and I think I won’t be arrested to claim that I know a thing or two about music. Why else would I be writing this, right?
How long has it been since you have started drinking coffee? Would you say you’re addicted to it? Not sure? Do you feel awkward if you start your day without a cup of this beverage? You do? You’re addicted. Don’t get me wrong, addiction is not a bad thing, and addiction to latte is certainly not bad. See, coffee contains caffeine, and it makes our brains alert. All of us are addicted to this burst of awareness and energy, and I can’t see why this would be a bad thing. Do you? No? Because it ain’t; moving on.
You see, music is like that cup of warm soothing caffeinated beverage you just sipped. If you hear a major chord, you associate it to something happy sounding. We associate it with something happy because it triggers a release of serotonin in our brains, and this chemical is responsible for making us happy, making us feel good. That’s why we like music so much. If you are like me, and listen to music while taking a shower or changing clothes, imagine just how boring all these would be without music!
In today’s context, a lot of youths are trying to make it into the music industry. But here’s the thing, a career in music is not quite appreciated in Nepal. People are still orbiting around daktar-enginir and frankly, it is not getting the musicians and their efforts anywhere. When was the last time you attended a concert by purchasing a ticket? Promise me, if you see an album by an artist you like, buy it, don’t torrent it. Not only will you be helping the artist and appreciating their work, but a rack full of CD’s and records is always impressive than a hard-drive full of illegally downloaded music sitting next to that questionable hidden folder.
Sip it up!
We do not listen and make music because it’s cute. We listen and make music because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But music, beauty, romance, love; these are what we stay alive for. Sorry, not sorry, for ripping off Dead Poets Society. Have you watched the movie by the way? No? You should!
Slowly stir the cup, mix the undissolved sugar. You don’t take sugar with your coffee? My friend, you are in the right direction. Don’t wander away. Love your caffeine and love your music. Now, gulp the saturated liquid tranquility and get on with your life.
Illustration by Parusha Pradhan.