You make a new friend. Make them a mix tape (or playlist, for the younger folks) that tells them who you are through song.
A mix tape? Okay, I admit, I am old enough to remember when CD’s became vogue. I remember buying my first CD (Piece of Mind by Iron Maiden). I also knew people who had 8 Tracks in their cars. In fact, my first stereo system had a record player on the top: and yes, I had records to play on it!
When I think of a mix tape, I think of Christmas of 88. That Christmas I got a Walkman and two tapes: Open Up and Say Ahh by Poison and New Jersey by Bon Jovi. I remember listening to those two tapes on my Walkman in the backseat of our car everywhere we went. It was around that same time that I discovered mix tapes.
It seems so archaic now, but it was the rage once upon a time.
As for a mix tape to tell who I am? Well, I suppose that could go in several directions.
If I were to do a mix tape, I would want to show someone the type music I like. Bob Dylan and Bob Seger would definitely have to be included. There would be some Tchaikovsky on there. A selection of Ennio Morricone’s composition for the western, Once Upon a Time in the West would be there too. In, something of an eclectic move, I would also need to include some classic, Christian hymns. Tops on my list would be: And Can It Be, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Man of Sorrows and the Christmas selection, What Child is This.
There would be others I am sure; after all, you have to fill the space! There is nothing worse then having to fast-forward through several minutes of dead space on side B of a tape!
So, what would all these say about me? That is a good question. I think it would say I appreciate beautiful music; music that stirs you and inspires you to visualize the sense and emotions of the music. This is why I enjoy Tchaikovsky, his compositions not only cause me to feel the mood; but, even more so, they enable me to see it as well.
The same goes for Ennio Morricone’s score for Once Upon a Time in the West as well. As a friend of mine once said, the music is really a supporting actor in that movie. A movie, which in my opinion, is the greatest western of all time. You see the massive, expansive landscapes through the lens of director Sergio Leone and the music pulls you into the geography. The grit and heat of the desert sun and the red clay become palpable through the scope of the score. You feel the emotions of loss and love and revenge. The harmonica selections hint to the dramatic conclusion.
Dylan and Seger move me as well. I am a rock guy at heart. I appreciate the lyrics and the music that accompanies them. I like songwriters who say something, not just making words rhyme at the end of lines. Again, I like the story behind the music; music that inspires me to see the song and feel the lyrics.
The hymns (as well as contemporary Christian selections) would be a must, because being a follower of Christ is the most defining part of me. Conjuring up my inner Pauline perspective: without Christ, I am nothing.
I am not one who simply listens to a song because I like the beat. I listen to a song, or at least listen to it over and over, because it says something to me or reminds me of something in my life. I listen to my favorites because they enchant me to visualize their message: music, good music, should be as much visual as it is audible.
In short, what does it all say of me? Well, for me the answers are clear enough. It would be there for them to see. But, ultimately, that would be left to them. All I could do would be make the selections and hand it out . . . the rest would be in their hands.