Personal Journal Entry 3# – Music

My first major experience with music was when I was a wee lad. I was sitting in the backseat of a car listening to my mother’s music when The Sky is the Limit began to play. Prior to that experience, I wasn’t attached to music. I knew what it was but it was unappealing. Lil Wayne had set the tone of what I thought good music was.

During those days, everyone liked Lil Wayne. He was the face of Hip-Hop. He was also my favorite artist. The music slowly became my drug. I wasn’t just satisfied with Lil Wayne, I needed more variations of the same drug. As the years went on, I started to sample Rap, Rock, and Pop. The other kids thought I was crazy when I sang along to the likes of Katy Perry and Demi Lovato. As if my voice wasn’t awful.

I remember those times. Music truly was an addiction. Like coffee and sweets, those songs gave me a quick high and then I’d crash. When I was in a good mood I would listen to music; by the time I took off my headphones I was in a bad mood. Nevertheless, I would crave those same rhythms again. It really makes me wonder if I was ever truly happy.

When I was in my conspiracy phase, I began to look at media objectively. I listened to some of my favorite songs and considered the lyrics. I was utterly disgusted. The artist spoke of sex, demeaning of women, drugs, murder, lying, thievery, self-pity, hate, disrespect toward authority, and much more in a positive way. We would pay to put these messages in our ears. This is what’s generally accepted. Children were influenced to accept this culture by the adults who embraced it.

Right away I began to purge music from my playlist. I only wonder why I never realized the nature of my music before. It was as if I was asleep. Even as a child I didn’t want this to be what shaped my morals. You become that which you behold.

I thought I had overcame the world. As I gazed upon others, I saw how they took the form of the music they listened to. The moral depravity sickened me. I failed to see how like-minded we were.

In search of good artists, I found Hopsin and Funk Volume, Jokerr, and K-rino among others. The only mainstream artist who had positive things to say made it onto my playlist. I couldn’t see the pride and arrogance sprouting up. I thought I was better than my peers and I evangelized my music and lifestyle as if people would actually care. I’m not better than anyone, in fact, I had demons of my own.

Depression ruled me. I was sick. So much so that beating myself with a dog chain felt good. I’m not Catholic. Suicide and helping others were both equally contemplated upon. How could my twisted mind possibly help anyone?

Listening to my music and being left alone made me a very depressed teenager. Healing began whenever I took the headphones off, but I couldn’t. Whenever I took off my headphones the music would play over and over in my head. I craved it like a smoker to a cigarette and would cave in. A starved tiny voice in my head begged me to not listen but the temptation proved to be too much.

I was torturing myself. Even when Hip-Hop, Rap, Rock and Pop began to lose its appeal I found Dubstep. I was blown away on my first impression. Best Melodic Dubstep Mix 2014 showed up on my YouTube feed that year and I was hooked. I never knew you could love a song that didn’t have lyrics.

None the less, I knew something was wrong. All of these frequent changes to become happy and yet I couldn’t find happiness. When I was still attending High School I heard that classical music is the best type of music to listen to when studying according to recent research. I scoffed at the statement. I told myself, “No thanks. I listen to my music and manage to get all my work done. I don’t need that boring stuff.” How I wish I would have taken that statement and dug a little deeper.

At my breaking point when life became too much to bear, in 2014, God found me and invited this confused agnostic into His church. After six months of studying the Holy Bible, getting to know who God is, and get acquainted with the members of the church, I was told that my music needs to go. Even my Christian songs were bad. But since no one could provide a solid reason or sound intellectual when speaking, the music stayed.

In private, however, God tried to tell me it had to go. My Bible study teacher referred me to Christian Berdahl who preached seminars on music. I found a 3-hour seminar on YouTube and I became a little more convicted. I tried hiding my music when others were around for fear that they would think I was a hypocrite.

My Bible teacher gave me a bunch of his personal songs but I found it impossible to listen to them. They didn’t have drums or body language. Some of the songs didn’t even have instruments, it was acapella. In fact, they sort of made me unhappy. It was torture sitting through one simple song. Piano and violin instrumental of hymns were too much for this born-again Christian. However, God kept pressing this issue upon me to surrender my playlist to Him. Sadly, God was ministering to deaf ears. Thank God He took matters into his own hand.

I blame God for breaking my laptop. The screen cracked and the C2G adaptor broke. All of my music and important files were gone forever. Only God. From that tragedy came forth a blessing.

I had to buy an MP3 player to get me by musically. I had purposed in my heart that I would only download conservative music. At that time I was eying the YouTube channel Ambient. I downloaded every single song that didn’t have drums. Even if the song sounded very weird I put it on my MP3 player. Some of those weird songs became some of my favorite songs. Some of those weird songs remained weird.

After Ambient, I searched around for music until I discovered Lucas King. This man has introduced me to a bunch of artist and soundtracks that I love. Ludivico Einaudi being one of my very favorites. The songs I listen to now is even better than the ones I left behind. They are unimaginably better. Praise the Lord! I even listen to classical music now and I love it. Especially orchestra music. My Christian songs span over 1,000 different sounds. Amen.

The songs I listen to now makes me very happy and upbeat with no negative side effects. In fact, I can listen to my music all day long without it ever getting stale, unlike my previous songs. When I do transgress and I feel miserable and want to wallow in self-pity, I don’t want to listen to music. But when I do, I can’t pity myself. In fact, I have a desire to pray for forgiveness.

During moments like these when writing is personal and I simply can’t listen to music, the melodies can play over and over in my mind, but I have no impulse to put in my earbuds, unlike in my younger years.

Once I was excited to go to a Bible college. When I went, the experience was okay. They practiced things I didn’t agree with, practices that don’t agree with the General Conference – not the Latter-day Saints, guidelines. When they introduced drums into the worship service, however, I could not physically be in the same worship room as them. From listening to contemporary music, the music, I set behind me, I had reactions. My entire body trembled and hastened for me to flee. The worship leader didn’t like that, but I couldn’t help it. After each worship service, I ran outside to catch my breath and cry. The Spirit of God had left me and I felt a desperate need to pray and ask for a revival. My head hurt beyond measure but they expected me to go canvassing after this experience. They kept my money but I went back home. Rick Warren’s influence was very evident.

The research done by Christian Berdahl opened my eyes to things I had not known and lessons I was learning firsthand. These are but a couple of quotes from Christian’s seminars.

Research conducted by Daniel & Bernadette Skubik have proven that any music that contains pounding low frequencies, like the ones we hear at airports or construction sites is considered to be a ‘brain drain.’ Rock, Hip Hop and Pop music falls into this category, because of the driving bass guitar and other ‘low pounding sounds.’

Dr. Alfred Tomatis has found that music that contains high frequencies helps the brain recharge: the higher the frequency the more the brain is recharged. Between 5,000htz and 8,000htz. The music of Mozart for example contains more of these frequencies than other composers.

Back from when I had a minor curiosity of music until now, I never would have imagined that I would grow to love music. I love to listen to the violin, piano, flutes and horns, strings and even guitar and drums when used properly.

I don’t know how God could be so loving as to give us the gift of music or why a man would want to transgress. But one thing is for sure, I want to learn more about music while on the earth to be able to create music for Jesus now and in the kingdom to come.