“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Berthold Auerbach

Music has such an amazing effect on me when I let actually relax and let it work it’s way into my body and brain. I love the feeling of the bass throbbing through my body. I love the liberating feeling of singing loudly to no one. I love the surprise the iPod brings as it shuffles the songs and delivers the next surprise…and then the memories that come flooding back with that song.

Today I found myself driving along the highway, sun shining, blue sky, car windows down, hair blowing madly around my head, music blaring, singing at the top of my lungs to songs I hadn’t heard in ages. I felt happy and I felt free.

Fall to Pieces, Velvet Revolver. As the name of the song says, it’s about someone falling to pieces after a relationship ending. This song stuck a chord with me at a time when I thought Denis and I were going to break up. I literally felt as if my life was falling to pieces…and every time I would live the gym in winter to go home, I would play this song loudly, sing, and cry, cry, cry.

With or Without You, U2. This always reminds me of my last night of my first trip overseas. I was in Singapore and had finally been given a taste of what I had always wanted – travel – and I loved it more than I had imagined. I did not want to go home to my miserable life. I was in a club called Chimes with a good friend, new friends, new experiences such as a dentist chair in the middle of a club where people were getting drinks poured down their throats, cool music and life…I was having the time of my life…so I cried.

Nights In White Satin, Moody Blues. This song was chosen by my Mum to play at my Grandad’s funeral (her Dad). Apparently he had loved the song, and it was then that I realised I had never known he had actually liked music. Normally, Nights in White Satin touches me – the peaks and troughs that bring with it a change in intensity. But at a funeral…I believe we all cried.

Grace, Jeff Buckley. This song, and Jeff’s voice (RIP), touches my soul. If I am happy, it makes me feel happier. If I am sad, it comforts me. Now I realise how depressed I actually was in my late teens, and I credit Jeff and his music for getting me through. It is such a shame that he is no longer with us – but for the time he was, he provided us with such incredible beauty.

Are you a music lover?

What songs have touched your lives?


The Beauty that is Music

Music is one of the most beautiful things.

I was brought up surrounded by music thanks to my parents and their friends. It was namely rock’n’roll. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, Guns’n’Roses, AC/DC, The Police. And even though those bands had all mostly broken up (or died!) by the time I was born, the walls of the my rooms of the various houses I lived in as a kid were always covered with their posters, and I idolised them. As I got older and formed my identity, my interests branched out as I explored drum and bass, techno, pop, trance, world music, opera, classical, grunge, Brit pop, boy bands, R’n’B, Rap, Chanting…the list goes on.

I am so thankful for the presence and prevalence of music in my life, as it has certainly helped me through some hard times. Fights and relationship break-ups, the fighting and divorce of my parents, illness and death of family, bullying and hardships at work, the lows of depression. But it has also provided me with some of the most memorable moments in my life, especially when I seen the musicians I love live.

The love for concerts!

I saw Metallica live in concert with my brother during their ‘Black’ album tour. He wasn’t even a teenager, and I think I was (only just). We wore black, and got to witness our first security ‘pat downs’ of bogans on the way into the arena, including our Dad who had walked us to the door. We then head banged and rocked our out to our idols, who made such an impression on us. To this day we still think it is the best concert we have ever seen.

Mum and I saw KISS on their reunion tour in the ’90’s (this was when KISS had decided to get back into their costumes!). It was awesome! Their costumes were so cool – and I do believe that those boys walk (or possibly strut) better in platform shoes then most women. And the KISS army – the most amazing fans who really get into the spirit and dress up like their costumed idols. It was so very cool.

And then there’s the time I got crushed in the mosh pit during a crowd surge whilst watching The Offspring set at the Big Day Out (an Aussie music festival). It actually assisted with the development of my agoraphobia, and put me off of the Big Day Out and large concerts for years. Thankfully it also assisted with my transition to Dance Musical festivals such as Summadayze. This has now become my annual summer pilgrimage.

The Backstreet Boys

One of the highlights for 2010 was experiencing the Backstreet Boys in concert with my friend Kate. As the lights went down on the crowd and silence descended on the arena, Kate and I became squealing like school girls. It was so much fun, us being in our 30’s. I know you might doubt it, but sometimes you just need to let go of all of your ‘adult-ness’ and just let the kid in you out (or the young, squeal girl in this instance!).

At the close of 2009 I finally saw Pearl Jam with my brother, years after the ‘grunge era’ had passed. The only time they had come to Perth when I was a teenager I had queued for tickets – these were the days you had to physically queue – and the tickets had sold out just before I had got to the ticket window – I was devastated. So, when I finally got to see them live I was blown away. By the band who were just perfect, and especially by the god that is Eddie Vedder, even as he got smashed on red wine. They were worth the wait.

I do have one regret, and it is just missing seeing Jeff Buckley when he toured my local town. I was busy, and apparently missed the most amazing display of vocal prowess and musicianship. To this day the beauty of that man’s voice just blows me away. And suddenly he was dead – just before he peaked, and way before his time. But, at least the world still has his music, of which I believe will continue to touch people for many years to come.

What are you grateful for right now?

Sometimes it’s good to just stop and be…especially when there is so much going on.

My head hurts – it has for a whole week. So much is going on in my mind, I’m actually giving myself a head ache. Even a 20 minute massage yesterday didn’t help.

So today – at this moment in time – I’m hitting the pause button, to remind myself what I am grateful for right now.

  • My dog. I love my dog. She had an operation last week, and I was afraid I would lose her. But she’s bouncing back, and that makes me relieved and happy;
  • The sun. I love the sun – even though it burns my pasty white skin and gives me freckles. The sun provides warmth, light and life;
  • Having a good car. For years I survived on having really run down cars, and I would always be afraid that they would breakdown. Once, driving down the freeway, the back axle of my car broke, and the back tyres went rolling down the freeway in front of me. The car then burst into flames, and I lost control. Luckily I managed to get the car across 3 lanes of traffic into the emergency stopping lane, and even luckier still – a man with a fire extinguisher pulled up behind me. I had my Mum in the car with me that day. We could have both been badly injured or worse. We were lucky. I am so thankful for being able to buy myself a new, reliable car;
  • Being alive. I feel that I’ve had more than my own fair share of ‘near death’ experiences for my age, like the earlier example, or like the time we nearly plummeted off a cliff. Then there’s the times I nearly drowned – thus I now have a phobia of water. For years I was also depressed and didn’t want to be alive. Now I do. I love being alive;
  • Hands. Without hands I wouldn’t be able to write, and writing brings me a degree of sanity. So without hands, I might find myself slightly insane…
  • Great music. I was brought up by parents who loved rock music. Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Police, Fleetwood Mac…their love of music instilled in me a desire to explore my own music tastes. I’ve explored everything from rock, to metal, grunge, pop, boy bands, drum n’ bass, trance and dance, world, R’n’B, and so on. I love music. I would be lost without it;
  • 2010. Now that was a bad year. It was the worst one I’ve had in a long time. Cancer, death, bullying, sickness, fights, lost friendships, money worries, and so on. But 2010, with all it’s bad stuff actually taught me so much – and there were some amazing highlights! I got to see Fleetwood Mac live with my Mum, brother and sister!

Now it’s your turn.

STOP what you are doing.

Stop thinking.

Stop everything.

What are you grateful for – right now?