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The emotional impact of music

I’ve been going to a lot of fantastic concerts lately, Nightwish, Ladytron, and yesterday Rush. They were all great shows, unique and exciting to me in their own ways, and I’m not going to get into details because then I’d have to write a novel here, but yesterday I came to a realization at the Rush concert.
Nightwish put on an almost flawless show of intelligent, well written progressive rock, and although I am much newer to the band’s music, I knew many of their songs well. But the Rush show had far more emotional impact and was a far better to me for that reason. Why? Because I am emotionally invested in their music, I grew up with them, they influenced me in a big way both personally and musically as a producer with their technically challenging, jazz influenced, progressive style rock. Rush drummer Neil Peart‘s impersonal approach to lyrics and his propensity for addressing diverse subject matter including science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy, as well as secular, humanitarian and libertarian themes always seem to leave me wanting more with the lyrics to most songs I hear and work with.

The show reminded me that this emotional investment that comes from the fact that music affects you at specific times in your life based on what is happening and what your going through and gives the music and the artist even more impact to you personally.
That personal connection and relationship is what the new music industry is based on; It’s not about a physical product any more, it is ALL about that relationship between the artist and those they affect, their audience.

I’ve added a Rush song below for you ‘Subdivisions’, which according to Neil, is “an exploration of the background from which all of us (and probably most of our audience) have sprung.” I highly doubt the music will have the emotional impact for you that it does for me, but that’s what makes my relationship with the artist special. Now if only Rush had a blog!

[audio:Subdivisions.mp3]

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2 Responses to “The emotional impact of music”

  1. Martin Says:

    J

    Great post and thanks for the Rush playlist. Excellent stuff.

    M

  2. Jim Jaworski Says:

    Rush is in the top 10 of my favourite groups. I would have liked to have gone to their recent Winnipeg concert, but I think it was sold out.

    I discovered Subdivisions in the past year via YouTube and it kinda goes well with that huge suburb they’re going to build here in Winnipeg… Waverley West.

    Regarding what you wrote on the emotional pull music can have on people. It’s interesting that you wrote that around the same time I wrote about Tears For Fears’ album The Hurting. I recently bought a used copy of their 1985 concert on CD… and I’ve been paying more attention to the lyrics from the title track, Memories Fade, Suffer The Children, and The Start of the Breakdown. These songs are OK to listen to maybe once a year or less, but everything in moderation… too much and a person could feel “blue” or less happy than before listening to it.

    http://jamesandrewjaworski.blogspot.com/2008/06/tears-for-fears-hurting.html