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The contemporary culture is drastically evolving. The increased use of technologies and individualistic cultures is reducing social life. For the last decade, there has been a rise in opioid use and suicide. People believe that the decisions we make affect the quality of life we live, as counselors strive to find solutions to problems. Exploring new adventures and talents has the potential to transform young people's attitudes. One method is to listen to music, which will alter the way we interact with one another. Music gives us good company. It reduces pain. ‘One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain" Bob Marley. Once one identifies the genre that speaks to them, they can find meaning in the songs. You can learn a lot from music. It motivates and gives hope to the broken. You don't feel alone. When you realise that people go through the same problems, it gives you strength to move on. It decreases anxiety and helps one to sleep. It is a better way to escape depression and the risk of developing lifestyle diseases (Nicol, Jennifer James). One cannot understand the impact of music on society unless you talk to people. I have conducted an interview with my friend Benjamin.
I met Benjamin at a community service project three years ago. Since then we have been best friends. He loves listening to music. He has been through tough times. He remains hopeful, and it motivates me. Trying to gain an understanding on how he copes with shortcomings, he agrees to an interview. He is the only child in his family. He is thirty-two years old. He works as an accountant in the family business. He lost his father in a tragic accident. His mother has recently been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. It is a deadly disease, and the survival rate is minimum. All these happenings are affecting him greatly. There are times he almost gave up then realises he is not alone. It is music that motivates him (Lorenzo and Mutauhi).
He remains optimistic about life. He loves rock and roll. The favourite band is Alter Bridge. He has been listening to the songs since 2008 when he lost his father. It is through this music that he escaped loneliness and found the meaning of life. They were on a road trip with his mother when they first heard the song “Rise today” in 2008. They fell in love with the song. Their lives changed for the best. They have a collection of Alter Bridge Albums The last hero, Blackbird, Fortress, one day remains. He also loves cold play music, Life House, My chemical romance, the script, and Kings of Leon. He loves most songs in this band, but few speak about his life, and he relates to the songs. They are a collection of Alter Bridge (Lorenzo and Mutauhi).
“One day remains” The song was released in August 2004. It is about living life like today is the last day. We listen to the song in YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkMOXsY1nDo (Alter Bridge - One Day Remains). The lyrics help him learn to live life at the moment. The past can’t change. When we listen to the song, it gives me meaning. It is not like the modern-day Pop. Pop lyrics are about partying and drugs. The song is emotional and offers to heal the broken. It is music that anyone can listen. Young children adults and the aged. It cuts across cultural barriers.
The song gives him hope. It is helping him, and his mother to embrace the moment. They have learned to love one another and be there for each other. Though death separates people from the special moments, they have counted. The memories are invaluable. The song will change my perception towards life. The song reminds me of my cousin. He was optimistic about life. Though born with a disability he never gave up.
“Open your eyes” his best 2nd song. The year of release is 2004. It is available on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eYHvrgPqQ0 (Alter Bridge - Open Your Eyes). The song is about regret. Life is fulfilling when there are unity and love. When we live our lives in the right way, we avoid regrets. In the society, there are living people who hardly know their neighbours. If we take our time to listen to people the challenges they go through we can save a life. Most individuals who go through depression commit suicide out of loneliness. It is an encouragement to those feeling lonely that the right people will always stick.
The words speak to individuals and groups. Most teenagers are brainwashed to join terrorist groups. They think it is right to kill. They trust the teaching. Music like these, speaks about love when we listen, and so we can never view one another as an enemy. Music is a talent, and the target audience is large. I believe many musicians can motivate and sing songs deep in emotion that can change the world. The song reminded me of Mickle Jackson when he wrote the song. We are the world https://youtu.be/M9BNoNFKCBI U.S.A for Africa (The USA For Africa - We Are The World). The song brought together the best American musicians. They performed the song donate money to Africa. The song was sung again for the Haiti Tragedy, and they raised thousands to help the victims. Love and unity conquer hate.
“Rise today” The song year of release is July 2007. It is available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYG3BPvFOgs (Alter Bridge - Rise Today). It was written to express hope for the future. The message of the song is powerful. Anyone can change the world. The beliefs determine the quality of life we live. We should always have strong faith. The uncertainty of events that will happen tomorrow should give us confidence. The song reminds me of many influential people who chose to rise and make a difference in the world like Abraham Lincon, the 16th president of the United States of America, who assisted in abolishing slavery in the United States. He established the banking systems that allowed the economy to grow significantly (Guiliano, J.) His achievements are recognised all over the world.
The past and the present lives may be different. It is about realising that you are still the same person. You can never run away from the past, but you can change the future and the present. The song is simple and easy for anyone to interpret the meaning. We can achieve success in life if we overcome the fear of defeat. Isolation hides the abilities of someone. We all have something that we can do to impact the lives of other people.
“In loving memory” the song is written by the lead singer Mark Tremonti when he loses his mother. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcQ3iegpZTc (Alter Bridge - In Loving Memory). It affects anyone who has lost someone close in life. There is hope even when the ones we loved are not with us. The song reminds him of the life he had with his father. Although he is gone, the music brings good memories. Death is a big blow to any family. The ones who are affected feel the pain most. There are those who have chosen to do projects that benefit other people in memory of their loved ones.
People overcome grief differently. There are those who turn the loss into something positive. Others react negatively. They develop hate, hunger and frustrations. Music like these reaches out to them, and it can help them cope up with stress. This genre of music is greatly impacting me. My perception towards life is changing. I listen more to the music. They are songs I will want my friends to hear. The media plays a role. The target audience is broad. If they play real music, many people will know about it. People may not know that good music still exists, the media can create that awareness.
Most of the songs in the albums are reaching out to people. They are written in a way that they motivate, educate and give hope. Music expresses ideas, thoughts and emotions. Alter Bridge is a definition of what music is. The songs are full of passion and love.
For Benjamin music is life. It is changing him the way he reacts to situations. The way he treats people. He sees life as something beautiful that we should all embrace. He wishes that modern music could speak more about life. If the media could play meaningful songs, they could change the attitudes of young people. Most of the modern-day musicians are money hungry. Their music has no content. They sing to entertain and make money. It is less teaching, and that is why most young people turn to drugs and harm themselves.
I like R&B, but I can relate to Rock and Roll. The music is entertaining, educative and sooth the soul. It is the type of music I will want to listen more. Music has kept him strong in difficult times. It has taught him to appreciate life more. Circumstances change, and he has learnt to forego things he has no control over.
Musicians of the early 2000 and before, spoke powerful words through music. They sang through the hearts, and you believe every word they say. It is as if they are speaking to you. The society has changed. The culture is not the same again. People no longer acknowledge other people’s beliefs. The society we are living in is showing people that it is ok to commit murder, use drugs, and engage in prostitution and terrorism. Some music the content is abusive yet played in media. The culture is eroding. People no longer have values and beliefs. We have power to dictate what we listen to and the kind of lives we choose to live (Nicol, Jennifer James). The whole interview has taught me never to give up. There is no excuse to live a reckless life
Alter Bridge - In Loving Memory. 2010. Web. 26 May 2017.
Alter Bridge - One Day Remains. 2004. Web. 26 May 2017.
Alter Bridge - Open Your Eyes. 2004. Web. 26 May 2017.
Alter Bridge - Rise Today. 2007. Web. 26 May 2017.
Bahl, V. "Shifting Boundaries Of "High Culture" And "Low Culture": Dhruvapad (Indian Classical Music) From Temple Music to People's Music to Court Music to Spiritual Music to "Ethnomusic". Humanity & Society, vol 28, no. 2, 2004, pp. 125-135. SAGE Publications, doi: 10.1177/016059760402800203.
Guiliano, J. "America's Presidents; And Changing America: To Be Free". Journal of American History, vol 101, no. 3, 2014, pp. 1030-1032. Oxford University Press (OUP), doi:10.1093/jahist/jau577.
Lorenzo, Benjamin, and Surahsign Mutauhi. Personal Interview. 2017. In person.
Nicol, Jennifer James. "Me Making Music, Music Making Me: Unexpected Travels in Music and Music Therapy". Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, vol 6, no. 2, 2006, University of Bergen Library, doi:10.15845/voices.v6i2.250.
The USA for Africa - We Are The World. 2007. Web. 26 May 2017.
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