People’s taste in music has always been of interest to me. I mean, What better way to get to know a person on a deeper level, than to listen to their favorite songs. i believe it to be one of the most effective ways to form a meaningful connection with a person. music generates such strong feelings, thoughts, and emotions that have the amazing power of bringing people together. However, I have noticed covering the topic of taste in music is quite challenging. an individual's relationship with music is so complex, but isn't it amazing we all have the ability to talk about music. or you may disagree with me. This belief may stem from the fact that I am completely and utterly obsessed with music’s transcending power to convey my own personal thoughts and emotions in such a way that is unparalleled by any other experience.
So maybe I am biased in thinking that everyone’s taste in music carries meaning and no one simply “likes a song”. Maybe, I am incredibly overstating music’s power by suggesting that it has the ability to change the way in which we view ourselves and others. However, I cannot help but feel that the complexly intimate relationship between humans and music has an other worldly power. a collection of sound waves conveying the human experience is possibly one of the greatest feats that we have as humans. and so, I am confident in my claim that people’s lives are inseparable from music. in an attempt to test this theory, I decided to interview people about their relationship with music and how music carries significance in understanding themselves, life and their connection with humanity. by pairing human stories influenced by music, the power of music can really take shape.
I set off on this quest by conquering the most daunting task: I needed to find a way to connect all of these complex and lofty ideas with concrete interview questions. these questions would have to effectively map out taste in music, that would still fit into a short, 30 minute interview. so I began with the basics, how often are you interacting with music? what influences your musical taste? are there any specific artists that you usually listen to? Then I started to think about the greater meaning that I, myself, attached to music: Are there any specific songs that you attach to a time in your life, or to a person? Was there a specific moment that you remember music becoming an integral part of your life? How has your relationship with music changed as you have grown? The list amounted to a collective 32 questions. fear not, I have narrowed it down.
The more questions I wrote, the more I realized just how challenging it is to convey to another person what music means to them. However, instead of being bogged down by this burden, I used it to further my thoery of music’s place in understanding life and human connection. Often the parts of ourselves that make us the most human are the most difficult to describe. And yet, somehow, even if the words and definitions that we come up with don’t make sense on paper, we as humans all share a deep understanding of these experiences that make us human. after, it is through experience that we learn the most.
And so I came up with the idea to pair people's stories about music with a playlist they would create. In an attempt to fully encapsulate the importance of experiencing music, rather than just talking about it, I asked my interviewees to collect ten songs that most effectively conveyed thier relationship with music. And in this way where words cannot effectively explain, the human experience we have with music gives us a greater understanding of thier story.
And so, by pairing people’s stories with specific songs I will create a mosaic of stories and music in an attempt to illuminate the powers of music in our lives. through story-telling and experiencing music, i hope that i can highlight the interconnectedness of man with music, and how this relationship connects us to the greater human experience. stay tuned to hear some great stories and musical experiences in my first interview.
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.