Monday, June 22, 2009

Using a Musical Experience to Transcend Stress

Last night I attended a Yanni concert. This is Yanni's new tour, called Voices, where he has four talented young singers who've given words to his music. I'd been watching/listening to two of Yanni's DVDs for the last few months in preparation for the show. In the DVDs, Yanni introduces the four singers, my favorites being Nathan Pachaco and Cloe.

Our seats were close to the front, plus a big background screen blazed the performers' images as they sang or played instruments. Over the years, Yanni has gathered incredibly talented players, and the tight bond between the performers was apparent. They were truly amazing. Yanni's joy in performing, his pride in his people, glowed on his face the whole time.

The music was sublime. One song by Nathan and Cloe transcended me with its incredible beauty. I felt aware of the happy energy buzzing through my body and joining with the energy of the audience, all of us in awe of what we were hearing and seeing. The rest of the world fell away. It was impossible not to be completely present in the moment.

Today, the echos of the concert still resonate in my mind. I find myself humming the music. Somewhere in the hours between the concert and now, I found a twist ending to a story, involving a musician, I'd imagined on and off for years. I feel filled with creativity.

Obviously, my experience last night filled my energy and creativity well.

But what about when you don't have the time, opportunity, or money to attend a beautiful or fun concert? I know a lot of my author friends write to music. Listening to music during a long commute in traffic makes it tolerable for many drivers. Other people play songs/albums according to their mood--to lift their spirits or console themselves. Singing (loudly) my favorite hymns on Sunday definitely makes me happy.

So, how do you use music in your life to release stress or make yourself feel better?