Music is one of the important aspects of my life. I live with it and listen to it everyday. I buy things and accessories that plays music or let me listen to it. During College, I buy cassette tapes almost each week and it typically defined the way I dress, talk and relate with people. My father also bought me an original Philips green earphone and together with my Sony Walkman became my most valuable possession. It can relax, calm and soothe me whenever the miraculous blend of the bass and drums with all the other instruments and unique voice of the singer pass through my ears with clear melodious sound.
I listen and appreciate different genres from classical, to hymnal, alternative, blues, jazz, r&b, rap, metal, reggae, opm, punk etc… I don’t know why, but I like to listen to every genre at particular times. Music can affect the deeper parts of my being and my emotion. It looks for it, feels and blends with it. My life is associated with music and its absence would be an unimaginable situation.
As music evolved through the decades, our culture moved with it. I am not sure if the culture drives the music evolution or the latter drives the first. Nevertheless, they shape each other, and surprisingly also shapes us. Music has become a musical memorial headstone of our life in the past. At certain times, when an old music or a song is played, it brings back memories in our heads like a vision that stuns us for awhile.
Here are some of my musical headstones:
1. I wish that I was there ( by Hanson). Whenever I hear this song, I am reminded of my father who died a decade ago. This was the first cassette tape that he bought for my sister. I was really surprised because he doesn’t like their music and didnt know about them too, but for the love of my sister, he’s happy for what makes my sister happy.
2. Guitar man (by Bread). This song reminds me of a high school classmate from Baguio who moved to our place. My love for country music was his influence. He introduced to me the beautiful songs of Jim Croce, John Denver, Don Mclean, the Beatles, Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks and Bread. He plays the guitar well and also sings well. Students at nearby classrooms would flock around Him whenever he plays his guitar and sings. His talent made him one of the popular guys in High school. He has also inspired me to level-up my guitar skills.
3. On bended knee (by Boyz 2 Men). This song reminds me of a high school classmate who exceptionally was one of those “good persons” that you know. He was soft-spoken but intelligent and always does what is right. But during our last year in high school, he punched one of our classmate in his chin without warning. It was a big surprise for everyone for they had no heated argument before that nor hatred for each other that occured.
4. With a Smile (by Eraserheads). The first years of my college days were the worst years I had. I remember those untold stories of my life that almost destroyed what I must become. This song reminds me the details of it. It was sad, but those are treasures now that is valuable for the kind of work that I do.
5. Standby Me and Wonderwall (by Oasis). Richard, Carl, Ryan, Arklin and Vincent. These names blend with the music when I listen to it. Those years were “boys will be boys” days. Those days were like that time that everyone wishes they could go back too and do things better, braver and wiser. They have their own families now and are doing well in their career.
6. High (Lighthouse Family). This song brings me back to the days when me & a close relative conspired to infuriate our neighbor who bought the corner lot and the house that my relative’s parents used to own. Almost every night for almost a month, we climb and hide up at the santol tree and throw little stones on their roof. The angry guy went out of the house shouting and calling out our uncle whom he suspects. Fortunately, our uncle was not home that night but the guy indeed scared the whole household. He passed by the santol tree several times but havent noticed us hiding behind the leaves with our sweating palms clinging at the branches. When morning came, the guy was still angry making comments about last night. My uncle overheard the guy for it was only a hog wire that divides their land. Our uncle got furious, got his bolo and briskly walked towards the gate of the house while calling out the guy. Fortunately, the guy was swift enough to lock the gate before my uncle got hold of the gate’s handle. The guy never went out that whole day but his wife talked to my uncle. Nobody knows about what we did until now.
7. Take a look around (by LimpBizkit). This song reminds me of a college freshman buddy who thinks he was one of those “cool guys” that you have to be with. He thinks he knows how to talk to girls, dress and act cool and organize a party. He invited us once for a house party at his aunt’s house where he’s staying when they were away. Her aunt was the BIR regional director and is married to a geological expert. The house was a complete mess when the party was over. We did our best not to leave any trace except for the calls made by our other classmates from their home phone to several mobile phone numbers, which was revealed a month later when their bill came with an amount which was way more than expected. His supposed allowance was used to pay the phone bill.
8. Scar Tissue (by Red Hot Chili Peppers). This song with the rest of the album reminds me of that almost a year long that I spent at my cousins home in Cagayan valley. Those days reminds me of a genuine experience of acceptance, love and care from a relative, an overdose of alternative rock songs, fiesta celebrations, movies, fish balls, rice fields, carabaos and merienda.
9. I dont want to miss a thing (by Aerosmith). This song reminds me of the days I spent with joining a band during college. I was the keyboardist, and this song made us second during an intramural meet battle of the bands. It was one of those experiences that boosted my confidence. It was also my worst exposure to alcohol, cigarettes and fast 2-wheeled motor-powered vehicles.
10. Don’t Speak (No doubt). This is the first song I sang infront of my classmates and the first song I really liked from a female rock singer. It reminds me of the Mtv days when it was shaping the popular culture and became my most favorite TV Channel.
11. King of Majesty (by Hillsong). This song reminds me of a guy whose singing and guitar skills has inspired me. He was the male P&W singer and leader at VCF. Me and my college friend’s involvement at VCF was our season of redemption from our self-absorption. It helped us move away from being boys to real men.
12. It is well with my soul (hymnal). This reminds me of my father’s death. It became my favorite hymnal song when it was repeatedly sang during his burial. The message of the hymn is perfectly conveyed with its beautiful simple melody.
13. We are the reason. This is the song that our mom would let me and my sister sing every December at church, during their Christmas program at their office or whenever there’s an opportunity. This song reminds me of my mother and her love that sometimes I do not understand before. It was like a tender hug that has always kept and pulled me back in the way I should go.
Music has an incredible power to influence. It never fades nor gets lost. Great respect and gratitude should be extended to those artists whose music has kept a bit of our past alive.
Some of my Original Compositions: