a spunky gabby pops into the studio, exuding a cheerful energy as we begin our interview. right off the bat she tells me how her taste in music has always been a unique one. in elementary school, she was one of the third-graders that was listening to hardcore heavy metal music. most kids on the playground did not share her admiration for the screamo genre. thankfully, where her peers failed her, she was able to find solidarity in her own home. she was able to share her musical appreciation with her brother. gabby reminisces on memories with her brother - the two of them burning cds, exploring new music, and sharing delight in the lyrics of "system of a down". through this shared taste in music, gabby's relationship with her brother became a lot stronger.
in stark contrast to the intensity of "chop suey!", gabby talks about her transition into the music of the 60's. highlighting stars such as the beatles, janice joplin, and the beach boys. she explains how these artists and the overall genre of 60's music embodies style and themes that connect heavily with her personality. the messages of peace exuding from the raspy voice of janice and the goofy stories of happy times in the psychedelic bumps of the beatles, gaby finds another outlet for her ever-changing personhood. while the styles of music could not be more opposite, gabby reflects on the common theme that has followed throughout her taste in music: the ability to connect to the beat. when it comes down to it, gaby connects most to music that moves her - literally! "i love to dance, i used to hate rap but i've been getting more into it just because i like the beat of it." in all aspects of her music, she finds a connection wither to her desire to physically move or emotionally move.
as of late, gabby describes her music selection as being heavily dictated by mood. while happier moods she associates with dance-oriented rap songs, REFLECTIVE MOODS CAN BE PAIRED WITH THE IMPACTFUL LYRICS OF strong female vocalists: LP and daughter. here gabby reveals the importance of music's ability to harness the emotions of a vulnerable experience. she heavily resonates with the lyrics "you've got a warm heart, you've got a beautiful brain, but it's disintegrating from all the medicine." describing mental illness in this loving and understanding way, gabby tells me of the strength that she found in these lyrics. resituating such an isolating experience, into one that conveys the complexity of mental illness and calling to attention the beautiful human behind all the diagnoses. and in this way, gabby reminds us of the connectedness that music offers: the beat's ability to connect both human kinesics and emotion, all the while bringing about a sense of communal understanding.
stories told by musical enthusiasts !
The Musical Mosaic offers a weekly podcast, playlist and publication based on an interview with Andrea Simms and fellow musical enthusiasts. Here is a place where mere mortals can make sense of this world by discussing our relationship with music.