Saturday, 27 March 2021

The Music of Personal Peace

“Where words
leave off,
music begins.”
-Heinrich Heine

There is a strange and lovely thing that has happened to me of late; my musical taste appears to have made a 180-degree turn. Where I was once enamoured with Rock ‘n Roll and many of the popular musical groups of the 60’s and 70’s, the music of my peers through my high school years and beyond, I have lately embraced a more classical genre of music. Strange; even ten short years ago I never would have imagined that possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love to listen to the likes of the Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, Pink Floyd and a host of others. However now I am as likely to listen to James Last, Gheorghe Zamfir, Henry Mancini, Nana Mouskouri, Al Martino, Tchaikovsky and a plethora of similar artists. Does that surprise you?

Sometimes it still surprises me.

What changed? That’s the million dollar question. I hate to say that it was age, as if to suggest that only older people can enjoy the classics. Still, the circumstances around now finding myself north of sixty years of age, I think have played a part. With this new decade I find myself caring less and less about what others think and the stressors that seem to plague them. I find myself chasing less and less of the things the world seems to chase. I find myself less and less impressed by society’s offerings as a whole.

Stress in the workplace is at an all-time high. A global pandemic has touched everyone one way or another. The question of retirement is being considered more and more often lately, and I seem to have become more and more introverted over the past couple years. Outside of family, one of the few things that seems to matter today is maintaining a healthy level of personal peace.

Peace. What a beautiful word!

Religiously guarding and protecting my personal peace is now high on my priority list. As such, anything that could rob me of that peace is anathema. High on the list is striving to avoid political discussions and their associated venues. Likewise conspiracy theories, of which there seems to be an abundance lately, just create more internal turmoil for me, and as such I choose to avoid people and media that promote them. Music helps. It was Ludwig van Beethoven who once said, “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” The older I get, the more I am starting to believe that.

Peace, personal peace!

Maybe it is an age thing. Maybe I no longer have patience for anything less than that which promotes personal peace. I remember sharing a meme on Facebook a while back that said, “Once you hit a certain age you become permanently unimpressed by a lot of shit.” Maybe that’s it; maybe that says it all. Music has the ability to relax and calm and foster peace; at least, the right kind of music does. What exactly constitutes “the right kind of music” is obviously subjective; yet for me, now here in my early sixties, that definition was apparently subject to change. So as I type these words, I do so while wearing bluetooth headphones playing a wonderful Spotify playlist of assorted great classics. Ah, here is Zamfir again and his version of Annie’s Song. Beautiful!

Peace and Blessings.