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The essence​ of music

Music can be magical. For me, this feeling of magic is the essence of music and is at the core of music making. Whether it was a recording, a live performance I attended, or a concert I was giving myself, every time I experience a moment like this I am amazed by how music is able to touch one's soul. I always consider a performance successful when I have been able to create even a single instance of this kind of enchantment. So let's take a closer look at this magic...

Always when I encounter this essence within music it feels so close and familiar, yet so unusual and almost untouchable.

Before trying to figure out what is causing this essence of music, let's talk about what it feels like when you experience it. Although I realize this feeling is super personal and there are a million ways to describe it, I have discussed this topic with some people over time and it seems like the following description sums is up quite well. Is there a composition or song, in any genre, that made you feel like you were struck by lightning and hit you right in your heart, making you drop everything you were doing at that moment? Did music ever made you feel like time was standing still and you were weightless? Did music ever evoke such a strong emotion within you which was so overwhelming making you feel like you almost bursted - either out of joy or sadness? Well, there you have it, the essence of music. Always when I encounter this essence within music it feels so close and familiar, yet so unusual and almost untouchable. And once I realize what is happening, the spell breaks and I am in my chair again, listening to a concert or recording. That is kind of the weird thing about it; somehow you have to let go of everything you thought was going to happen and instead just go with the flow and let the music take you to a place in yourself which you didn't even knew existed.

I feel like music has the capability to fill this void, creating a different dimension in which a conversation can take place

So what is causing this essence? Sometimes it happens when I listen to a recording I have heard many times before. This happens either because it reminds me of a moment when I have encountered this music before or I am suddenly able to relate to the music in a new way or on a deeper level. For example, when I listen to Blackbird from the Beatles I always think of my dad and me listening to this song early in the morning during our holidays, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. When I heard Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 just after I lost someone who was very dear to me, it felt like I listened to this piece for the first time, although I already knew it before, simply because those circumstances made me experience the music in a completely new way. But what about those times when I felt music's magic while listening to a piece or song for the first time? I guess something within the music just spoke to me instantly. Sometimes this is a feeling I am familiar with, like happiness. But for me it becomes really interesting when it evokes a feeling within me which I am not really familiar with or for which I fail to find the words to describe it properly. This is where music turns into a language of its own. Sometimes it is hard to describe what you are feeling like or to figure out what is truly on your mind or bothering you, yet during these instances when you experience this essence of music, it suddenly becomes instantly clear. During these moments, which often hit me light lightening, music is kind of like therapy to me. It always makes me realize that the words we use in everyday life almost never completely cover the message or feelings we want to share or the stories we want to tell. I feel like music has the capability to fill this void, creating a different dimension in which a conversation can take place. That is what the essence of music is all about to me; communicating through music.



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