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The emotional impact of music

Friday, May 30th, 2008

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]