Rock n Roll and Life Energy

I use the term life energy to describe our innate desire and will to live.  Survival is a built-in instinct and it has tremendous amount of energy.  In developed countries our lives have become so comfortable that when I think about bygone eras and the hardships humans used to endure, it blows my mind what people lived through.

But in an effort to prioritize and assure our physical survival and comfort, we seem to have developed societies that ignore an aspect of life that we didn’t pay attention to before.  Our mental, or psychic survival.  We’re still learning how to take care of it.  Or rather, what happens when we don’t take care of it.

I think there are two kinds of depression.  One where you are feeling such strong emotions that it incapacitates you from living a “normal” life, and one where your mind becomes so compromised, so ill that it’s temporarily lost its ability to feel.  It is among the most cruel condition, because physical pain and illnesses don’t have to rob our abilities to hang on to hope.  But depression does, a depressed person cannot have hope, that’s the very illness.

I don’t think I’ve ever been “clinically” depressed, at least not for long.  But I’ve been with people who have, so I have an inkling of what it’s like.  When I was in that lethargic, hopeless state, I didn’t feel like listening to music.  I didn’t relate to music because music had too much life energy, and I had very little.  But I know some kinds of music, like classical/baroque, can be soothing.  Not because it has less life energy, but it’s more subtle with it, it seeps into your skin instead of hitting you over the head.

Rock n roll, on the other hand, is among the most blatant expression of life energy.  You have to be full of life to be able to listen to that energetic music.  I am aware that I’m expressing my compassion for those who suffer through music that is ill-suited to reach them.  But I’m an artist and not some kind of service provider.  I don’t making music to make someone feel better, I just do it because I’m the one with the need to express something.  It will be nice if my music played some small part in helping listeners gain awareness, understanding, and compassion, but that’s not the goal.  If it happens, then that’s a happy byproduct.  It’s not an expression of what depression feels like, either (that will be rather morose and unpleasant experience — and that’s not a judgment, more an assessment).  I just wish to expend my life energy in creating creations that express my desire to take better care of ourselves, and of each other.