Solace and Solidarity in Music

My first music concert was in November 2006 at the Anaheim House of Blues. I went with my dad and sister and we saw Thomas Dolby and BT, and the opening local band did some song about strawberry jelly. The show was roughly nine years ago today (best guess from memory was that it was one of the last days of the month of November), and I have been going to concerts ever since.

I find the question, “What’s your favorite concert that you’ve every gone to?” a difficult question to answer. At difference stages in my life, different shows have stood out to me. My fist concert was with family and countless others have been as well. Music has been a critical element of my identity since I was born. My senior year of high school I stumbled into a “right place at the right time” opportunity to run a music venue for under age musicians in a bar heavy hometown. I freelance write for a label on occasion. Last spring I helped organize Pink Martini at one of the theatres on campus. Music helped me feel connected to my friends back home while I was in the Philippines.

I took an anthropology course this term focused on comparing music of resistance and solidarity in Brazil, Jamaica, Hawaii, and Cambodia. The class has been offered for several years now and I think the solidarity of music is coming through particularly strong in the last few days. The interconnectedness of it all. I look forward to class on Tuesday.

The Barclays Theatre is a venue many of the bands I admire have some history with. Whether they played there weeks ago, months ago, three nights in a row some years back- it seems to be one of those venues with shared experiences. A piece of my anthropology class that is resonating most strongly right now with me is music of solidarity and the solidarity of music. The events in Paris on the night of November 13th, 2015 and events in Syria, Beirut, Mexico, Japan and countless others this week, music seems to help at least some of us heal. Music is something I have fallen deeply in love with and have found personal peace through music. I found out about the events in Paris through the newsbreak on an Australian radio stream. And on my personal feed, it seems that some of the world is at least finding strength and peace through music.

Davide Martello traveled over 400 miles from Germany to Paris to play John Lennon’s Imagine on a grand piano outside the Barclays Theatre and the rendition is incredibly beautiful. The cover has been appearing on my social media feed, from friends, to musicians who have played the theatre in years past. The original by Lennon has appeared on several playlists focusing on Peace, shuffled between the likes of “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens and “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield.

The events of late have been heartbreaking but it is slightly reassuring to see so many people come together around something like music as we all process through the anger and sadness and frustration as the world keeps on spinning. I know for me personally, going to a show at a historic theatre last night in my college town, just blocks from where I live and work was foundation for a lot of reflection and was more positivity than I could have asked for. I was happy. I was smiling. I was thinking about the amazing people who I was there with and everyone else who was there because of our love for music.

The world we wake up in every day is not the world it was yesterday. The solace and solidarity of music is a beautiful constant I’m thankful I can appreciate. It is times like these I love music more than anything else and I want nothing more than to make a career out of it. The hope and light I’ve seen in the past few days and it’s been sound tracked incredibly well. And I think in the mean time, the best thing I can do is turn the music up as it helps stitch a broken world a little closer together.

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