Wednesday, November 22

Playlist: Pretty Sounds for Heavy Hearts

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For all the times you tried to talk someone through a song.

Consider the mathematics of this playlist. Even groove doesn’t transcend those kind of rules. Groove sounds like groove because of math. Pythagoras said, “there is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Mathematics and patterning give us the ability to intuit and deliver our messages, things like why do you always side with your godforsaken mother, I know your Facebook posts are fabrications, and I’m so confused about you, will you help me out?

In “I’m Into You,” Chet Faker puts it this way: I hope you’re listening…the shit we do could warm the sun. Do you even know what kind of shit that is? No, but you can take a guess and it probably wouldn’t be that far off. Thank math for that. We’ve all had a human experience or two. We are wired for connection, to perceive ourselves and our surroundings through our patterns and experiences.

This playlist is about our quiet moments. Maati Baani’s “Mitwa” opens with purrs produced from a synthesizer. That kind of distinct sound can touch anyone who’s pet an animal or snuggled in a partner’s armpit. Or, take Drake’s line, “pass-ion-ate from miles away.” Some paramours can only exist at a distance. Music can propel us forward or pull us back to some of our most tender moments. The songs on this playlist all say, this is what I know.

Here’s an exercise. While you groove to this playlist, pull up the “Missed Connections” section on your local Craigslist. You will never need to putter in a bookstore’s romance department again. Even eye contact can change someone’s life. Reading love letters from your community members may make you feel a little lighter, maybe heavier, put-together or even lonely. That is because something in you knows something. Love carries its own kind of wisdom.

Missed Connections, Seattle

Subject: Guy to my left on my return flight, you out-competed right-side guy

As soon as I sat down, I knew you two would go head-to-head when I chose J. Dilla’s “So Far To Go” on the in-flight audio menu. Both of you stared at the song title and then at each other. So, I put you to the test. I leaned to your side, feigning sleep. Right-side-rugby guy wasn’t gonna go down like that. He took up space, put his shoulder to mine. I leaned to his. I pulled out my books on purpose. I wanted you to know that I am noble and smart. You appreciated the surprising gore in my comic book. I enjoyed your jolts out of sleep, punctuated with an impulsive punch to the seat each time. We watched the first ten minutes of Beauty and the Beast, leaning our heads in like a heart. You watched me as I deboarded, raced after me when my tired legs leaped out of my seat. And then I watched you suddenly walk ahead of me, angrily, because I never said a word, never really looked at you.

Next time I put on a show, I will follow-through with some words.

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