December 13, 2009

365 Project: Day 58

Music. I can't live without it. I feel it in every part of me. The right song can give me chills and butterflies. Just hearing it can lift my spirit or move me to tears. My body will sway to a melody or I'll nod my head to a beat without even realizing it. I blast the stereo in my car and sing along to the the radio at the top of my lungs. Some songs can only be listened to with your eyes closed. You can feel them at the very core of your being. If you let it, music can change your life.

As a kid, when there was housework to be done, my family cranked up the stereo. In our living room we had one of those big, silver, rectangular stereos that had all the metal knobs and dials. On each side were two wood framed speakers stacked on top of each other (4 total). They were taller than I was. We would turn up the radio and the whole place would fill with music while we were cleaning. That was also the 80s, you know, when MTV still played music. My mom loved the Georgia Satellites song "Keep Your Hands to Yourself". Every time the music video came on we'd turn up the TV and dance around in the living room. I even remember the video. The band was in the back of a truck driving down the road with their crazy long hair blowing in the wind.

At the Texas State Fair, amongst all the rides and commotion, there was always a live band playing. I have a distinct memory of standing outside in the dirt, the smells of greasy food and cotton candy and listing to a band, feeling my heart pounding and whole body vibrating to the rhythm of the bass line. I have so many more memories of music in my life. Obviously, even as a kid, it made an impression on me.

Now, I don't leave the house without my iPod. It stays tucked perfectly into a pocket on the back of my wallet. You never know when you'll need it. When I lived in Boston I walked or took the train everywhere, so my headphones were practically implanted in my head. I always loved watching the city buzz around me to the soundtrack of my choice. Since I work at home now, I have music playing all day. I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is start up my Mac and turn on iTunes. Throughout the day it shuffles through the 3,856 songs in my current collection.

Going to see a live band perform, no matter who they are, is one of my favorite things to do. It can be someone in a coffee house, or a huge show with hundreds of people, it doesn't matter. I feed off of that energy. Watching a musician perform can make you experience a song in a completely different way. You can see the passion and the intensity in which they meant the song to be heard when they wrote it. Its in their faces, their body language, and the energy that they project on the audience. When someone is performing it demands my attention in a way that nothing else does. The whole world could fall apart around me and as long as the band kept playing, I wouldn't even notice.

Many of my closest friends in life have been musicians. I, unfortunately, have no musical talent of my own. I played the violin and the flute as a little girl, but believe me, I was no prodigy. Being surrounded with talented, creative musicians has enriched my life in ways I can't describe. My friends are inspiring. Its the reason why I love live music photography so much. To be able to go to a show and stand right up front with my camera is my idea of heaven. It combines the two greatest loves in my life.  Being on tour with a band or musician that I believe in would be my dream job. I've been shooting for a few musicians lately, promo images, CD covers, etc. That's where my heart is and I want to do a lot more of that sort of work. Its my way of being a part of the music the only way I know how.

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