Monday, January 12, 2009

My Life's in the Bass Line

So, I made a lot of observations on my drive back to Brookings. It was good, productive, and not entirely pleasant. I realized that I was anxious and upset...more so than I thought I was. I mean, God and I were chatting, and then I realized I wasn't consciously thinking about anything. But something was clearly on my mind and upsetting me because I discovered myself absent mindedly gnawing my fingernails off. I really wish I didn't do that anymore....but...I do. I tried to brush it aside and regain more conscious, purposeful thought...but was wholly unsuccessful...instead, I found myself feeling especially antsy and flipping through the songs on my ipod. I apparently suddenly became extremely choosy. I only wanted to listen to songs with a hard, driving bass line. I tend to gravitate to those songs. They're what I choose to nap to, stretch to, relax to, etc. Yup, when it's time for me to chill, I like to listen to songs with an almost...pulsating beat. Today, I paid attention to the way I respond to those songs. Partially because I was trying to do a kind of biofeedback...observe my body so I can calm down better. I noticed myself connecting with the bass line, feeling anxious during intros and then relaxing when the bass came in. The most awesome part I realized today was that it was the rhythm and pulsing of the bass that I really enjoyed. The rise and fall of the lines affected me, but not in as beneficial of a way. For instance, the motion of the bass line somehow triggered the release of tears from me 3 times, leading to a total of 6 tears (yes, I counted).

I really relate my love of bass lines to my love of heartbeats. I use them both as external pacemakers of sorts. I like the methodic forward motion that they provide. I mused for a while about whether God would be a bassist...'cause I remember my jazz band director talking about the rhythm section being the heartbeat of the jazz band. I was thinking today about the bass being the heartbeat. Because it pulses and drives the band forward but can go unnoticed by the casual observer. The effects are seen, but not everyone can pick out just what the bass line is. On the other hand, most people can find the drumbeat, which makes me think of it as's pretty obvious whether or not its present and the broad characteristics of it. And just like in the human body -- breathing implies a pulse, drums hint at the bass line. I feel God like a bass line in my life sometimes. He gives me consistent forward motion, drives me to move forward, despite whatever craziness is going on around or in know? Like no matter what crazy melodies and harmonies and dissonance and whatnot is going on, the bass keeps moving everything forward. Yup. So, I realized that sometimes I use the bass line in my music as an artificial pacemaker...helping me feel grounded in the methodic, pulsating rhythm...stability with a forward drive...and if the music itself isn't enough to center me (i.e. keep me from crying or freaking out)...sometimes, I crank it so I can actually feel the bass in my chest. Let the bass line be my heart beat as if forcing me to keep going (wow...that's emo, huh?). But true in a lot of ways.

So, yup. I was thinking about all this...the comfort I find in heartbeats and bass lines...I'm going to confess to this. Sometimes when I can't sleep and music just isn't doing it (like the words or something are distracting me somehow)...I imagine a heartbeat or try to lay so I can hear the blood rushing in my ears (the seashell effect if you will) or feel my connect myself to the rhythm of life...and remind myself that we are going forward...somehow it makes me feel less alone, too...I suppose partially cause I feel connected to God...and because everyone has a heartbeat...and sometimes I think on that...I know,'s what's on my mind...yup. I don't just love bass lines because I love being the bass chick. I actually just connect to an organic, comfortable way. The end.

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