My Books

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Young Effect

Entertainments play on our senses differently. Each separate type comes to us wrapped lovingly by hands that have spent hours and hours trying to convey a thought, a sensation, a story. And each different type of entertainment brings us that in its own fashion.

Movies can take you places you have never been, and leave your imagination whirling with sights and sounds you would probably never have come up with on your own.

Words in a book, well, those paint images that your mind brings to life on its own. Every person pictures Frodo Baggins a little different in their minds when they read the Lord of the Rings. Words have a very lasting impression, partially because they paint the scenes…but we bring them to life. Our own imaginations craft the sceneries and the faces of the heroes and heroines. The skill of the author leads us where he wants us to go, and each of us takes away a bit of our own impression; our imaginations create worlds when we read.

But what of music?

Music makes you feel.

There is a place inside you where pictures and words only sometimes reach; but music has the key, and can slip in whenever you allow it in your life. Music has a direct path to our emotions, and to the thing called ‘beauty’ inside each of us. People might define it differently, or have no definition at all, but we all recognize beauty when we see it or feel it. And music bids us feel that beauty, and sparks sensations of joy, sorrow, excitement, exultation…

I have always known that. It is a rare moment that I don’t have some song playing, around the house, in the car, wherever I happen to be. But this week I was introduced to a new set of music and reminded more forcibly of the power of song. A man named Adam Young has begun a project; he is creating soundtracks to events that mean something to him, because it is something he has always wanted to do. Go to his website here: Adam Young Scores. Choose an album, hit play, listen for a moment, and then come back and keep reading as it dances in the background. Whether you care for the style or not, I think you will be moved. As I listened to these songs this week, I was reminded of what music does to us. It inspires emotions and tells a story in a way that movies and books can only sometimes accomplish. We feel what the creator of this piece of art felt when writing it. Adam Young’s scores are certainly not the only pieces of music to do this, but they stand out as a beautifully clear example that makes my point.

Apollo 11 is charged with excitement, hope, and triumph, as well as times of sweet longing and solitary peace.

The RMS Titanic, you hear the ebullient elegance of the beginning of the voyage, and then? Play the second half of the album, and I dare you keep a smile on your face. No, you find yourself so saddened. Even when I merely hear the music without paying attention to what event it speaks of, the sorrow creeps into my chest as the music plays.

The Spirit of St. Louis, you can sense the charged excitement of the takeoff, and then the miles and miles that drift under Lindbergh’s plane, with only slight variations across the Atlantic. You feel the beauty and monotony at the same time.

This blog post is really just a note to say thank you to God, I suppose. Music is such a constant part of my life I had forgotten how much I take it for granted. Finding a new set reminded me of one reason why music is truly a gift from our Creator. No other art form (at least that I have found) has such a swift and complete entrance to our emotions, or such control over them. It takes us places so quickly, and yet we find we go so willingly, following the beauty as it leads us through a proverbial nosegay of wonder-filled emotions.
Don’t be afraid of the effect music has on you. Pick an old favorite, or try a new album today, and really listen. Let it invade you. And as you find your heart touched and blossoming under the skill of the artist, remember to offer thanks to the Great Artist Who put music in this world for us to discover and create and use.

To God be the glory, great things He has done![1]

[1] From “To God Be The Glory,” words by Fanny Crosby