There aren’t many things in life that are permanent. However, we insist on telling ourselves stories about how some things are or simply fail to notice the changes that undergo even the most basic and subconscious parts of our being. Case in point: the way we listen to the music and the type of music we listen to. At least for me, every broad musical period that I’m in seems larger than life and stretches both into the past and into the future. Whether it’s a stint obsessing over a specific band, genre or sound, my current affection (which is much more than an afternoon or even a week) seems to loom large in the narrative of myself. Funnily enough, these interchanging periods carry their share of perspective but it’s the things that stay the same that really strike deep. The tracks, albums and bands might be the same but they’re in fact wholly different. What has changed then, since the material obviously hasn’t? Only one part of the equation remains to be shifted: me.
And so comes the realization that even such intimate, deeply embedded parts of us such as how we experience music, shift and move with us. The more that this thought took root in me, the more I became ambiguous about it. Was this a keystone in a well of sadness or the first block in a soaring bridge of joy? Was I to wax reminiscent, taking pride in passing over my changing tastes, like so many old jewels that catch the light once again? I found that I don’t know. Which is why I’m writing this, to try and delve into the bottom of this elusive, haunting, uplifting realization. The net is too wide to cast however; the emotion in play is too subtle. To serve as my guide, a barometer or perhaps a focal point, I decided to choose a specific track. It would help if this track dealt with the subject matter itself, namely our perceptions of who we are and how these perceptions change.