When I hear, I feel...

by - Friday, June 17, 2016

The radio is loud in the car. I like it that way when driving alone. All my favorite stations are programmed so I can manually search for the right song with the touch of a finger. Drowned in a profusion of present pop music, my antsy fingers tap the dashboard in search of something else now... Oh! I used to love this one! Call Me by Debbie Harry blasts and my seat belt strapped torso instinctively wiggles to the rhythm. My thumbs start tapping the wheel to the beat, and though my eyes are on the road ahead of me, my mind travels back to dance team practice in high school... Arms bracing backs, locked in line formation, we step, rock-step, back, and hitch-kick. Snapshot memories flashing before me amid waves of the sound cloud.

Music is vital to my life. It always has been. There is a song defining all of my life experiences, big, small, even arbitrary moments. Late nights listening to songs captured from the radio or television on a Panasonic tape recorder, I would hit the play button and put the box under my pillow to fall into a daydream before actual sleep, way before headphones existed. When the Sony Walkman came out, getting lost in my own world was so much easier and became mobile, filled with sounds of Journey, Janet Jackson and Go West.

I really am dating myself, aren't I?

And then there were the concerts. Honestly, many of them I hardly remember today if it were not for the program collection. That was a treasure back then, in the days before the internet. Now you can find any and every picture imaginable of your favorite musicians, clothed, unclothed, with the girlfriend, on the beach, you name it. Back then, we collected tokens out of desire to connect with them, to make their image tangible, fantasies incarnate. Today, you can stalk your favorites on Twitter and Snapchat, getting up-to-the-minute lunch selections for the day or what street they just passed in town. This was unimaginable when I was a teenager. But with all the technological advances one thing hasn't changed... the music itself still speaks the loudest, whether I am listening to classical, vintage jazz, or indie rock.

Brenna and I are big fans of Florence and the Machine so when their How Big 2016 Tour dates were released, I vowed to get tickets for a show in our area. Initially, just one show at the Barclays in Brooklyn was scheduled, so the purchase was made swiftly before it sold out, set for June 14th. Fast forward, driving through the city the other day, we prepped our souls with a shuffling of album tracks. While we were anticipating a great show that night, the first opening act, classic trained cellist Kelsey Lu, left us awestruck with her haunting and electric voice. We instantly became new proclaimed fans. Grimes came up after to Brenna's delight, and then we awaited Florence. 
Watching the big screens, hearing her ethereal voice rouse an energetic performance, raw emotions were stirred within us - love, excitement, fellowship, abandon, reverence. Songs channeling friendship, nights of pleasure and peace, all resonated in my core. The concert was a gift in itself, and we spent the entire evening singing, clapping, crying and feeling deep satisfaction in surrendering to the lyrical experience. This was a show I will definitely remember. More snapshots created for the storehouse in mind, all tagged by the music.

After all, music is what life sounds like. When I hear, I feel... xoxo-Sonya

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