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If you know me, you know that I am the person most unmusical. All through high school, the one person guaranteed to not know the latest hit or have heard the rock classic was me. I never felt that music fit in within my framework, that it worked at a level beyond my understanding, that it wasn’t amiable to be fit into the routine of my life. And so I never felt the urge to listen to it. It was superfluous, a distraction and an unnecessary one, which impeded and added nothing to my daily life. My friends from time to time, suggested things to me and tried to get me interested in it, recommending bits and pieces to me. The only pieces I found some passing and peripheral interest was classical music, but even that could not keep me involved for more then perhaps an afternoon, or a few hours at a time. Music was Odd perhaps, but unnecessary, secondary and ignorable in the great scheme of things.

To a certain extent this is still my view today, but yet I cannot help but admit that as I write this that I’m listening to some. I sit here, and I close my eyes, and I feel seized by it. It has a power that transcends our mere ability to deal with the world. Music seizes the heart, and grasps the soul. It carries it places different and uncertain, it evokes and invokes something primordial in our composition that I think we have no idea how to explain or understand. There is a raw power in it. Power barely modulated by the instruments that contain it. Power transcendent and therefore dangerous. Sheer evocative Power.

I understand why I’m not keen on music. I cannot accept such a seizure on my soul. I have a fetish, that I should and am in control of my life, that I will not relinquish. My life, my control, my decisions. No influence that can do this will be permitted. I chose to bar this because I’m scared of what it does, and of how much power it has. What damage can it do? What power does it have over me and what are its effects? I would know before I would trust Franz Ferdinand, Mozart or anyone in between with so much influence over my life.

The other problem for me and music is that I see music as a mystical magical thing. I have not the intellectual framework to place it into, to dissect, to divide, and thence to analyse it. I have instead to accept: this is the music, this is how it’s put together, it works, shut up and listen. I can’t accept that. I lack the tools to dissect and analyse music, and for me this puts an end to my interest in it. If I can not understand it, then what is the use of attempts to harness it and put it to good use? It is not in my nature to accept things that just are, that are beyond my influence or control. I enjoy them only tangentially and then in brief bursts.

To give my life over to music in the way many of the modern world seem to be inclined, to have it on every day, as if life needed a sound track, does not appeal to me. It gives none of that quiet time that I so enjoy within myself, to hear and perhaps converse with the voice that dwells within my head, that has all the ideas and ties together all the loose ends with insight and verve. That voice does not feel compatible with the sheer transcendent power of music. He, as it were, gets lost in the din. And I like this little voice that keeps me company through so much of my life, that ensures that I am not truly alone, no matter where I am and what I find myself doing.

And in the end, I’m not sure I’ve made the right decision. I give up something transcendently powerful, for the fear of the power that it wields. Simultaneously I prefer to keep the company of the voice in my head. Hardly rational after all.



    • Anonymous
    • Posted March 30, 2006 at 10:46 pm
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    you say you cannot accept music because you do not understand it .. are you then saying that you understand many other things?? faith, religion, human frailty??

    • Mohammed Talib
    • Posted March 30, 2006 at 11:06 pm
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    Not at all, but I don’t feel scared of them in a way that I feel scared of music. I feel like it ‘takes over’ too much of me in a way I’m just not comoftable with.

    • Dom
    • Posted March 31, 2006 at 6:28 pm
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    Hey Mo, change “music” to “love” and you’ll begin to understand how I feel. Funny enough, I actually enjoy getting seized by good music. Nothing beats walking down a quiet path listening to a nice song or classical piece. It has the power to disconnect me from the outside world momentarily. I find it interesting that you should be scared of music. It’s not like it’ll do anything substantial to you, like entering into a relationship would.

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