By TIFFANY CONTRERAS
“In the wind; in the air; in the light; it’s all around us. All you have to do is open yourself up. All you have to do is listen.”
Music is a powerful thing. It’s something many people take for granted because they’re constantly surrounded by it on the radio, in their apartments and in grocery stores. Did you know there’s a lot more to music than writing on paper and playing instruments?
Music is blood, sweat and tears.
Instrumentalists don’t hear or listen to things in the world as other people. Instrumentalists have the power to hear a noise and immediately have a thought or idea of a new track for a song. Music consumes the lives of musicians, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Musicians spend hours upon hours learning an instrument. Similar to the way pre-med and med students study to become doctors, law students study to become lawyers and students study to obtain their career goals, musicians spend just as much time – in addition to their schoolwork – to become the best musicians they can be. Musicians will keep practicing until their fingers bleed – literally. And when their fingers are bleeding, they’ll still keep on playing. Why? That’s a common question. Why not? That’s a common answer.
Musicians will spend hours rehearsing and playing their songs, regardless of how hot or cold it is at the location in which they’re playing. With a combination of blood and sweat, you’ll see passion. When someone continues to do what they love, despite the blood and sweat, you’ll know they’re serious and passionate about what they’re doing.
And, lastly – my favorite part – the tears. Songwriters don’t just tell a story through words they’ve made up on the spot – they’re reliving everything they’re writing about. Songwriters wake up at any hour of the night and write an idea they have; songwriters come up with ideas throughout the day, and they never know when it’s going to happen. Songwriters, additionally, don’t view the world the same way as other people. These songs that pour out of people’s hearts are their experiences – their lives. As said by singer, songwriter Christina Perri: “When a song wants to be written it will find a way, even if it has to rip through your heart and make you cry with every word.” The tears come streaming, but the masterpiece is worth it all.
John Mayer, one of music’s best lyricists and guitarists, said:
“We’re sort of like black swans. We’re so rare, there’s not really any reasoning for it. There’s no therapy for songwriters. Songwriters go to therapy and the therapist says, ‘Yeah, you got me. I’ve never heard of that.’ We go into rooms and we see things that aren’t there, and we balance that somehow with also being a normal person. It’s something I like to call, ‘Dear God: Make me crazy enough to keep on dreaming; normal enough to sleep once in a while.'”
Next time you listen to a song, wherever you may be, just remember all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into every second of that song.
“I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s what I hold on to.” –August Rush