My two-year-old grandson, Evan –a.k.a. Evey Bear- points at my iPhone, which he knows plays music, and says, “thith?” I attach the phone to the stereo; crank up the tunes and he starts dancing. With his right arm raised and a finger pointed to the sky, his left leg begins to dance and his right leg takes off around the house listing a bit starboard. I follow suit. It’s called the Evey Bear Dance.
Music has the power to move people like marionettes attached to invisible strings. Turn on golden oldies and my wife just can’t help it; she starts dancing. Drop Jim Brickman in the CD queue and soon we’ll be slow dancing in the kitchen eliciting snide remarks from the teenagers in the house.
To set my world right side up, I listen to music. It kisses me awake each morning with inspiration and rocks me to sleep at night with smooth jazz. It whispers my fearful soul back to a place of peace and drumrolls me out of melancholy into the battles of life. My wife and I agreed, while watching a movie recently, that we wished our life had a soundtrack. A heavy organ would let us know when the scary parts were coming or the theme from Rocky jazzed us up each time we fight the battles of life.
Occasionally, but not often enough, I treat myself to the delicacy of music; live music. Regardless of the genre of music played ranging from classical to country to jazz to rock and roll and the Remington Middle School band, live music is more than just spectators watching a performance; it is a conversation between the musician and the listener. Live music gives people of all ages the opportunity to play a part in the creative act of art.
My wife and I live in Smalltown, USA, population 473, but have one of the newest, cleanest, friendliest bars in the area. It’s called No Fences, but the city made them put one fence up which the owner calls a partition so, technically, we can call it No Fences. We sidled down to listen to Johnny Outlaw and Johnson Creek Stranglers. With a name like that, you know they are going to be a country band – the kind of music I grew up on. It was the most fun I’ve had in quite a while.
I was reminded why I love live music.
- Live music does magical things to my soul and causes my toes to start tapping, my hands to start clapping and my body to start swaying and somehow the cares start leaving
- I become a part of the creative act of an artist because, as they move me, my reaction to their music either causes them to be more excellent or apathetic
- I find myself surrounded by others who like what I like and therefore a silent camaraderie is built as we shared in the same joy
- It simply makes me happy
I even did the Evey Bear Dance. It was glorious; at least I enjoyed it much to the mirth of others.
My grandson is on to something. I find myself frequently saying, “thith?,” grabbing my iPhone, logging into Pandora, or punching the knobs on the radio so I can get lost in the music.
I only do the Evey Bear Dance when no ones looking.