When You Don’t Feel Good Music Sounds Different

October 26, 2008

I’ve recently been paying a little more attention to my feelings and I’ve noticed over the past two days that because of our heat and a standard everyday run of the mill cold I feel completely different about the way music sounds and how it causes a completely different emotion.

I recently received the soundtrack to the just released film Flash of Genius by Aaron Zigman and have had the opportunity to listen to it before, during, and after the cold and each situation has been a different listening experience which brings up for me as a reviewer that my writing and opinion is going to be different depending on how I feel. Not only is my opinion different but also so is my hearing due to the fact that the congestion has backed up into my sinuses/ear canals. While on the subject of ears having the wax removed from your canals is an excellent idea and will result in a better listening experience. There is also the first and second listen, which has to be factored into the experience whether I feel good, bad, or indifferent. What I can tell you are the first listen was extremely positive given my upbeat attitude coupled with a style of music I personally enjoy listening to. The next couple of listens were extremely negative as this was during the not feeling so good time frame. The music was dull, uninspired, and quite muddy sounding. Whatever themes were present, two of them, weren’t there at the time of this listening. All I could tell you is that there was some synthesizer; strings, some trumpet, and the tracks were irritatingly short. My opinion was blah. The first listen was pre-cold and the second was during the full effect of it.

Today feeling like I am, on the mend, produced a fresh and exciting sound to my ears. I’ll leave most of the comment for my review but needless to say I really quite like the work on the whole, although the short tracks are irritating but then again I feel that way about Newman and Herrmann also known for their short tracks. This was quite a change in attitude from the muddy sounding material from the day before. If I had written and published that day it would have been a negative not a positive.

Your frame of mind can definitely have an influence on the way the music sounds. Having a nice evening with your significant other and the main theme from Prince of Tides will sound romantic and heartfelt. A bad mood can result in what did I ever see in this schmaltz. Tired and your brain can be on overload and hard to process any sort of information. Well rested and the sound is crisp and clear. Something to ponder the next time you listen to a composition. Your mood can and will effect the way music is heard.

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