I’ve been considering an age-old topic, a cliche question that perhaps musicians dislike being asked:
Why do we play music?
The question of “why we play music” can be grouped amongst the other fathomless questions such as…
Why is the sky blue?
Why does everybody die?
What is the meaning of life?
To assume that we can do any justice to any of these topics by trying to answer the question, is to perhaps assume too much of ourselves. 😉
But then again, what is the point of being human if we don’t get to sit around sipping fermented beverages and discussing ponderous concepts?
…and imagine a time before we had electricity and internet, before we could watch movies and stream music endlessly via Spotify and Pandora (for scandalously low prices I might add, considering that musicians such as us only receive something like 0.005 cents per song-play on a site like Spotify… but I digress ;-).
I imagine that back then, before we could listen to music without the musicians themselves being present, we must have placed tremendous value on the person who would come sit by our hearth and tell us stories from faraway lands, or play us songs about the human predicament: love, death, hope, fear, desire.
We could listen to them and enter a trancelike state, gazing into the fire, and be transported above everyday life–the rigors and the doldrums–to a place of the imagination, a mysterious realm that songs can take us to, where we find solace for our unspoken pain, inspiration to carry on, or simply a moment’s respite from our belabored thoughts.
We were able to travel, to go on adventures, right from our homes. And the wandering bard who showed up in our village was our traveling guide.
Even now, you know that you are witnessing a pure conduit of music when you sit down in front of a musician (or musicians) and forget who and where you are as the music pours over you.
Even Pandora can’t always accomplish that.
And as musicians, this is what we aspire to… transporting our beloved audience into a timeless realm, holding space for them as they travel to a place where healing, joy and inspiration are all possible.
This is one of the best reasons I can give you for why we play music. 🙂
P.S. And if you’ve never had The Love Sprockets take you on a musical journey, it’s about time you experienced us firsthand:
(It’s a song based on the old french traditional ‘Au Claire de la Lune’ in which a young poet’s candle goes out and he goes late at night through the village to find a light and a pen to write with)