One of the very things that's important to me, and one of the things that people tag me with is music. The fact that I talk about it, share it, listen to it, it's a precious thing that I hold dearly. It's even to the point that I post it on an ooc thread of my RP more often than talking. But one of the questions that I had in my head, why I like music so much. Why is this so important to me, why is this so big in my life? Well, part of it has to do with how I interact with people.
In short, I'm terrible with people. Just terrible. Talking to people is the most confusing thing to me, the mannerisms, the sarcasm, the subtleties of it all. Social cues are pretty Greek to me, and I can't stand it. This results in me thinking whether these people around me really like me or not, since people aren't too keen on telling you face to face, I'm left wondering why they talk to me, if they really hate me, if said "friendships" are as strong as I think. It's something that I've dealt with forever, to the point that it makes me feel down and out at times. Since I can't talk to people, I've tried various methods to at least cushion the blow of social failures. I tried being funny, the learning process was and still is brutal. I was a gamer and when I saw others play, I tried to show them my stuff, but then I became the "video game guy". The value in me only depended on the video games that I brought. For some reason, that was a stab for me. Then came music.
Now, music was always with me. My mother made it a goal for me to become well rounded, which is funny since I'm a high functioning autistic (which isn't to say that they can't be. Oh no, there are tons, but the facts make it amusing to say the least). One of the things was that she'd play music around me, all sorts of genres, no real boundary aside from what she liked. As I grew, I took attention to some tracks from video games and cartoon shows, humming them along as I tried to explore the social scope. Music was good, don't get me wrong, but I didn't take it that seriously at first. Sure, I took note of songs I liked, but it'd never go to exploring. Most of it was due to where to start. That's one of the reasons why I felt like my knowledge on certain things suffered at first, same thing happened with my gaming ordeals. But onto the subject, things changed bit as I grew older.
Part of it was some games that I played, now that the technology was getting better, mp3s can be placed into video games. the result? Games having soundtracks that sounded like songs on the radio. No blips or bleeps this time, and songs made by artists with names rather than some Japanese guy playing midi sounds. It was mostly the generation of the Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube that started my interest. Games like Tony Hawk and NBA Street had crazy sounds that I'd talk to my cousins with all the time. Even now, I remember playing Underground, listening to the hip-hop soundtrack, nodding to Cannibal Ox and Quasimoto.
But what solidified it was something simple, something hilarious in my head. It started when I was fifteen, I was on iTunes (I know), and the only time I could get new music was by earning a prepaid card now and then. At this point, I was desperate for some new music, all this top40 stuff was draining me. Then, a small mixtape opened up, in the hip-hop page. A free download with the list of all of the songs used in tape. I listened to it, liked it, loved it. I found it, I found a way into this music world where the beats were dark, the lyrics were complex, it was a totally different sound than what was playing on the radio.
Instantly, I was addicted, listening to low bitrate radio stations and browsing websites with the music in mind, gaining knowledge by listening to the words, the sounds. The rhythms were my heartbeat, I felt as if they were guiding me somewhere.
Naturally, I didn't want to be alone in all of this. I tried to share it with some friends, but they were less than thrilled. The only people at the time that supported me was my cousin, who I found out, influenced his listening tastes a bit. Something I'm somewhat proud of, but I don't think pride is something to hold on too much. Anyway, I went from trying to show friends to looking for like minded people. That too, was hard, until I went on Gaia. The HHF was a small little haven for me. I had a good run, showing people music I enjoyed and people liking what they heard. It made me feel happy, having people at least straight with how they felt, not leaving anything up for interpretation. That, and it was great that people liked my stuff for once. It's nice being liked, y'know?
As I went on, gaining new tunes and expanding my tastes one track at a time, my outlook on music has both changed and not simultaneously. For one, I used to be a pure hip-hop head but I feel as if music is more than that. Instead, I look for music to make me feel. There were times while I took twenty minute walks from the bus stop to school, I'd close my eyes, crafting images that the music made in my head. One day after another, it'd be the same track, more images until they overlapped into motion. That constant search for feeling, how does these notes and strings make me feel at the time? I'd eventually involve all of the senses in this, forcing my head to do so. And you know what? That was the time where I felt like I was at my smartest. My brain was buzzing and sharper than ever, my creativity boundless.
I guess that's the main reason why I love music. It gives me a chance to express myself and make people happy. It's an ice breaker, it elicits a real response, it cuts through the crap of social subtleties. Maybe I'll always suffer with talking to people, it feels that way at times, but I thank those that have been patient, open and kind with me. I don't know how I entirely feel about sharing this, but at least it's out. Feel free to tease or talk, I'll be passing tunes around as always.