Burning Man was just last week, and I wonder if some of the people here were feeling nostalgic? This is surely the same community, continuing at home in San Francisco. I imagine the beautiful white of the desert that I’ve seen pictures of, stretching as far as the eye can see.
The two musicians slowly wander around the room, their long dresses occasionally brushing against my feet. As they walk, they play various chimes, a handpan, sticks that you wave to make didgeridoo-like sounds, those wooden frog things that I saw for sale on the streets of Rome.
It's beautiful, eerie, meditative music, the kind I remember from the documentary Baraka, the kind of music you might associate with temples in southeast Asia. And what's really cool is that I know everyone else is enjoying and appreciating the beauty of it too. I often keep my music preferences to myself, shy about sharing them, but I realize that everyone is here because they want to be, including me.
This experience is a reminder of how much music can affect my mental state, and how much power there is in harnessing it for positive effect. I started reflecting on all the different ways I've incorporated music into my day-to-day life, to change the way I feel. This is what I came up with:
1. Workout playlists - Bourne soundtrack song (Extreme Ways), and other badass movie songs, inspired by Nerd Fitness.
2. Work playlists - I've been listening to lots of Tycho and Bonobo at work, partially because I saw both of them live and they got stuck in my head, and partially because I think they're great flow triggers for me. I wonder if those are completely independent, or if the music brings me back to the flow state you get from a live concert?
3. Airplane rides - Maybe this is super nerdy, but there are certain songs I always listen to during take-off when I'm flying somewhere. Usually it's the first song in the Avatar soundtrack, and I have to time it exactly right so the introductory build-up ends right when the wheels leave the ground. It makes me feel like I'm heading off on some epic mission.
4. Gymnastics - My coach in Chicago always used to play Chicago's hit radio station during class, so whenever I hear pop-y music now it makes me want to do back-handsprings.
5. Ringtone - My ringtone is Cantina Band from Star Wars, which usually makes me laugh when it goes off. Hey, apparently people will like you more if you smile when you're on the phone! Also my text notification tone is R2D2 :-P
6. Recovery playlist - When I was seeing a counselor at the end of college, I made a playlist called Recovery, which has lots of "you are awesome", "feel good about yourself" type songs, like Brave (Sara Bareilles) and Not Afraid (Eminem), and of course this song, which is completely awesome.
And that's it for today, thanks for reading!