I hesitated with this thread, but as the title says, it’s about finding solitude in music - as in finding peace.
I have always been drawn towards finding peace and solitude through music. It has always ebbed and flowed, but has been a constant source of levelling out “life stuff”. I’ve been reflecting on this, as I’ve realised that I’ve become burnt out this year and changes will be afoot.
But in the context of the Forum, I have been fortunate over the last few years to build a couple of great Naim set ups that has revived my enjoyment and love for music and it has been a great help.
What price can be put on helping to find space and peace through music?
What do you get from enjoying music?
Mike that’s a rather deep and meaningful post, guess music means different things to different folk. Some just like it as background and really take no interest in content or quality. It’s noise. Then there’s us, I figure that if your invested the amount that it takes to get a Naim “stack” both in money and time it means a lot more to you. Me, I love to unwind listening, to listen when I do the housework (when I do it of course), to past the time especially when travelling and most importantly I listen when I paint. It allows me to escape to another place.
With you all the way, I cannot imagine, and genuinely struggle with, music as background. Equally, whilst it’s nice as a social lubricant, I always want to listen abd het lost in my own thoughts. There have been a couple of occasions when music has saved my life
I see it as an endorphin raiser. It helps me be happy, but I don’t have downs. In the period before Prostate Cancer surgery 2 years ago it helped me cope with dealing with the choices both surgical and lifestyle that I wanted. Fortunately, mine was cured and I’m still clear.
Interestingly, joining a choir and also practicing at home gives a very big buzz. I get left with lots of ear worms (metaphorically speaking). The challenge for a non musician learning Haydn’s The Creation is considerable.
Walking holidays like the Camino are also good.
So I recommend challenging yourself. You are never too old!
Interesting thoughts so far. I normally have something on beit radio or music; mostly for my benefit. I have always preferred listening to music at home; although I have enjoyed sharing the experience when signing in a choir or in church, I don’t enjoy concerts much. This is more to do with the social environment than the quality of the music, which can be lacking.
In my youth, listening to music late at night was a real pleasure; in fact, it was best with the lights out. It was a grounding experience especially after a hectic day. I now find myself doing the same before turning in.
I’m glad that worked out for you.
Couldn’t agree more. I love my Naim setup, on my own, during the day/evening. Bed time = networked A&K with Shure earphones. Absolute bliss, listening to random album for between 1 and 60 minutes!
Oh, life is good in throwing that at me well, l’ve dusted that other childhood love off, cycling.
In my younger days, I used to have my hifi just sat on the floor. Playing vinyl with headphones. Coming back from work I’d play some favourites whilst going through my yoga routine.
I hope you find some solutions.
I tend not to listen to music as background, and it’s quite often silent in the house. When I do play music I tend to really listen to it. After my accident in 2016 I could do very little for a good while, and music really did help me through. I find chamber music is being played more and more these days, but I do like to wheel out the old punk albums on the Qb when I’m cooking.
Back in the day when I had a really stressful job music would sometimes help and sometimes I was just too stressed to actually sit and listen. That’s where running would help. A year ago I took up yoga, which I used to do at university. It’s been great and on those admittedly rare occasions when things get too much, ten minutes lying down with my legs up the wall works wonders.
Ironically, or not, I’m a trained Yoga teacher. Which actually means, one has (should have) more tolerance to stress, but will also not tolerate maintaining a high stress level - if that makes sense!
Just noticed this thread Mike. Do you mean Solitude? For me Solitude invokes negative feelings akin to a sense of isolation, aloneness, abandonment. From your post it seems you are more seeking positive emotions of tranquility, relaxation and a sense of peace, calmness and stillness?
Perhaps I am being a pedant?
Yes, it’s a word with several contexts. I was using it in terms of being alone “in the music” to find peacefulness.
‘Solitude’ is more often used in the context of choice and positive emotions (but doesn’t exclude use for negative emotional states); the equivalent that always expresses the negative emotional states is ‘Loneliness’.
Mike I so agree with your post here.
In face so much so that Bach, Corelli, Vivaldi and Boyce form part of my suicide prevention plan. When listening to a multi-part counterpoint by Bach, simultaneously following all three or four counterpointed themes and at the same time being aware of the whole, it doesn’t leave any room to fit any negative thoughts into your head.
Yes, I see solitude as very much a positive. It’s really helpful to be comfortable on one’s own. Loneliness is different and very sadly something that far too many suffer with. I was sitting listening to Biber’s Rosary Sonatas earlier, played by Rachel Podger and it was totally engrossing. With Mrs HH now retired I value time by myself. But I wouldn’t want too much of it though.
i can’t enjoy music with others, even my wife. I prefer to be alone, so listening if my wife is outside the living room.
For movies, i enjoy her presence.
Lyrics from the Sandy Denny’s beautiful version of the The Music Weaver
I’m a long way from you,
I’m a long way from home.
And who cares for the feeling
Of being alone?
The notes and the words
They will always unfold
And I’m left with a manuscript
That will grow old
And the secrets all told anyway.
So the song it is yours,
And the song it is mine.
And a cold wind it blows