There's a line from the movie 'Cadillac Records' that really struck a chord with me. This line refers to one of the biographical characters Muddy Waters, who needs no introduction, of course. But, back to the line, which was so profound to me, “Muddy plays the Blues, but he doesn't live the blues...” Well, something to that effect.
This line is also nicely complimented by another line about music from the John Cusack flick, 'High Fidelity'. In this movie, as Cusack narrates his story, he asks the simple question, “Did I start listening to Rock n' Roll because I was depressed? Or, did Rock n' Roll music cause me to be depressed?” Something along those lines....
Where I'm going with both lines, as massacred as they are, is a simple question: Have you ever sat back and thought for a moment about how what you're listening to is affecting your morale, and life in general?
A little known fact is that hypnosis is actually a state that people will unwittingly find themselves in during many different tasks during the day. For example: When you're driving to work, and it's a familiar route, you're technically in a state of hypnosis. Or, when you're watching a movie, or... Listening to a song... You're also in a state of hypnosis.
During hypnosis, one finds themselves open to many different forms of suggestion. The visual channels, the kinesthetic channels... The audio channels are all active and still transmitting to your brain. Now, if you consider that the messages and words and scenes that play out through music and movies are all sending your brain messages, and you're highly open to suggestion. Well, it might explain some thoughts and behaviors that sometimes rise out of nowhere.
The Power of Suggestion
I, personally, discovered a considerable change in morale at a certain point in my life. I'd purchased a really great CD from an artist I greatly respect, Willy Nelson. It was a compilation of many of his older works. Songs that I'd grown up with, and considered classics. Because of the nostalgia that this CD brought back for me, I found myself listening to the CD everyday in my car. And, this CD stayed in my car for a good couple of months.
After a couple of months of listening to Willie every day, I began to notice a different attitude and demeanor began forming within myself. I was down a lot, and had sort of a 'screw it' attitude. The funny thing is, if you ever read any interviews with Willie Nelson, he's nothing like that. In fact, he's quite happy go lucky... With a small bit of Zen wisdom mixed in. But, apparently, during his early works, he wasn't. Or, he was just really good at emulating a style of country that was a little... On the downside. And, that's fine too of course. As musicians, we blend in moods, styles, textures and more to stay current and listenable.
But, at what cost? At this point, I encourage you, if you've been down, uncharacteristic of yourself... Take a look at what you're listening to. It might be writing your life and feelings.
How is what you're listening to affecting you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.