Do Sad Songs 'Make' You Cry
As a musician/songwriter/singer, or for that matter anybody who offers something to the world, the measure if your effectiveness is mostly measured not by monetary return but by connection.
The ability to offer a solution, inspire and create some difference. If that is achieved, financial reward becomes automatic and justified.
However a few separate instances have inspired me to examine whether an external event can truly force an emotional response, change or what ever the desired outcome may be.
I was accused of offending somebody. This left me baffled because obviously that was not my intention but I am aware that my humour sails close to the line and is embraced by very few.
My understanding of offence is that it is an individual choice often taken by a person who misunderstands a situation and feels uncomfortable asking for clarity. The declaration of offence then apportions blame therefore reliving the confused of their ignorance.
Another situation involved an upcoming event that had a very scant connection to the person telling me about it, yet they became highly upset almost in an instant saying, 'It makes me so emotional'.
And so it got me thinking...
Can we be 'made' to do or feel anything, even by music. Or is the connection and reaction learned?
The big overproduced balladering synonymous with Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey can nurse heartaches in some (see my reaction here) and yet induce nausea in others.
Similarly with other genres, fans will be so moved by their appreciation that their behaviour becomes what could be viewed as unreasonable or extreme.
They defend their favourite artist even in instance that have the potential for violence. Some will spend high percentages of their income on gigs and merchandise or even take to the road themselves to be near their 'idol'.
Is this acknowledgment automatic or has the superfan allowed this to be their trigger?
Compare this to drug testing where a placebo group will still display opiatic effects or the said superfan develops strong aversion to their hero.
In a world where being yourself is unusual and for so many unknown it is safer to use the cover of something external to vocalise those true emotions that are suppressed in order to live 'peaceful' lives.
That gamut of feelings needs to be released for our own sanity and yet anybody who chooses to do so is ridiculed and declared void of it.
How else could you explain the outpouring of grief for a public figure that although we may have some identification with there has been no close personal relationship to mourn?
It looks like an opportunity to be open about our own personal anguish, if only for a moment.
Processing a loss can take years and yet most people return to their lives moments later.
At any moment we can tap into and express any emotion we choose to without the musical accompliment but until people are confident to do so they need 'permission' from something external to articulate it.
My role as a music creator is to provide 'expression permission slips'.
Thanks for reading.
Please share. ;)