every note

“as i’m swimming through the stereo
i’m writing you a symphony of sound
as i rearrange the songs again
this mix could burn a hole in anyone
where are you now?
as i’m cutting through you track by track
i swear to God this mix could sink the sun
but it was you i was thinking of.”

– from “mix tape” by jack’s mannequin

if you’ve ever made a mix tape, or cd compilation or even a grooveshark playlist, you’d know how important it is for each song to represent precisely how you feel. the lyrics must reflect your thoughts. the music has to mirror your emotions exactly. this holds true even more when the songs are chosen with a specific someone in mind. that person must be able to know what you’re thinking and should see right through to your heart just by listening to the songs you’ve included in the mix. it’s a meticulous selection and a careful arrangement. it’s meant to tell a story.

i received a mix cd once. one of my friends decided to give a few of us a compilation of songs as a farewell gift. it was a thoughtful gesture that i appreciated alot (i sometimes still whip out that cd to play in the car) but looking back, i think it was more of a cover up for wanting to give a certain girl in our group of friends something to discreetly suggest his true feelings towards her. lol. anyway, that’s besides the point. the point is that at the time, i took each song seriously, like he chose those songs for a specific reason, tailored to the recipient’s tastes or characteristics…to my tastes and characteristics.

perhaps that’s just how i view music. it’s such a powerful tool of communication. when you send someone a song, recommend an album or artist or a certain recording of a certain piece of music, it means you’ve invested some thought into it. you’ve taken into consideration what the person might be going through or what that person could be feeling. maybe the lyrics spoke to you enough for you to want to share that emotion with someone else. it never is just simply about it being a good song…it almost always is something personal.

i’ve been told that i analyze things a little too much. it’s the reason for the air of seriousness that seems to surround me at all times. but all those times i’ve made a mix tape (from recordings right off the radio!) or put together a playlist on wmp, the songs were never chosen at random. i handpicked them to represent my mood at the time or to get me into the mood that i want. the words always mean something. always.

i just like to think that when people recommend songs or artists to me, or tell me about a concert or a new album they just bought, they’re communicating at the same level of…intimacy? trust? that i would be too if our roles were reversed.

“it’s like i wrote every note with my own fingers.”


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