I'm reading "You Are the Music" by Victoria Williamson, which explores the impact that music has on human behavior. I'm happy to learn that singing is shown to boost brain connectivity, providing a legit excuse for my laryngitis inducing singalong sessions. However, as Williamson notes, music has largely become a coincident activity. I listen while driving; while editing photos or my website; while cooking; and here, while writing this post on my phone en route to Los Angeles to see Stevie Nicks. Thanks to the dramatic increase in the mobility of music, we can effectively arrange an informal soundtrack to our lives - we are able to have our choice of music everywhere we go. Certainly, this convenience is a quality of life uptick, and enhances my enjoyment of everyday activities. But it can be much more. Nothing will compare to being able to pull out my ever-present iPod eleven years ago and ensuring that - other than my mother's voice - the last sounds that my dad heard were not hospital noises but the soaring strains of his much loved "Ave Maria."
But I rarely sit and listen - just listen - anymore, where the only other activity might be admiring the album artwork, reading the liner notes, or following along with written lyrics. This lack of focused music listening has almost certainly facilitated the occasional misinterpretation of what is actually being sung. We've all misheard lyrics, with the famous example of Phoebe on "Friends" interpreting Bernie Taupin's lyrics of the Elton John classic hit as "hold me close, young Tony Danza". However, I'm not sure if others are as committed to their misheard lyrics as I am. Despite now knowing 'better', I still insist on singing "you could capsize, with all the lies, that you've been living in", rather than cutting ties with those lies in Third Eye Blind's "Jumper". (Of course the weight of the lies would be sufficient to upend a seaworthy vessel, such is the degree of their burden - or at least that's how I rationalize my version of the words). It's likely no coincidence that my obsession with penguins led me to originally misinterpret the lyrics to Adele's 2008 breakout hit as "chasing penguins" rather than "pavements." Finally, why wouldn't Squeeze sing about "Pulling Muscles for Michele" rather than "Pulling Mussels From A Shell"? Overexertion on my behalf is always to be recommended. ;)
Three hours left to LAX. That's it. I'm shutting off my phone, putting down my book, and giving the wheel of my classic iPod a spin while I let the cloud reflected light at 35,000 feet warm the side of my face as I bask in sonic nuances and rediscover the songs I love.
Above: Sound, taken in Portimão, Portugal in January 2016
Current and Upcoming Shows:
"Water" artUNPRIMED at addo. 7 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY
Opening reception on Saturday, January 14, 2017, from 6pm to 8pm
"From The Archives: A Group Photography Show" Ilon Art Gallery, New York, NY. December 1 - March 4, 2017