Matt VoLuMe here,
I am going to start out by sharing with you all about how music has impacted my life and changed it for the better. I remember falling in love with the band Sublime with their hit “Lovin’s what I got” on the radio (https://youtu.be/jjxXhxcIbG0); I made a mix tape with that song and a few others when I was eight years old. I loved music right from the start, it made everything better and made me wanna get out and interact with the world. I was so excited to learn more about how these people did this stuff. I would sing all of the Sublime songs all the time with my brother, as well as a plethora of other classics, like, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ween, Weezer, Jimi Hendrix and much more. I learned how to sing listening to most of these things, my brother is largely the reason I sought to learn how to sing, he was always like a super hero to me and I wanted to be just like him. I think the competitive nature we had prevented him from empowering me to learn my voice.
We moved to Arizona after we went on a long family trip to Vegas and AZ, it was one of the most mesmerizing experiences, I had ever had. I remember flying over the grand canyon on the way there, and arriving to stay at the Venetian in Vegas, with all of the buskers outside putting on performances, the hot dry air, and then walking through the casino to get to the main area, looking up and seeing the most amazing art replicas on the ceiling, and they had a stream through the middle of the hotel with boats going down it, just like in Venice! The room was the biggest hotel room, I had ever seen. We rented a car and saw the Hoover Dam, it was mind bogglingly huge and a record temp outside at the time of about 117F. Aunt Marlene and Uncle Bob had us stay with them out in the country in Prescott, AZ, and we saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. I was completely breathless at the experience! I had never seen anything like this, and I had never been so inspired by a place; I didn’t want to leave and my mom felt the same way.
About a year later, we were in a moving truck headed for Flagstaff, AZ, where my dad had moved us. I remember things had already been rough between my parents for quite some time and my father had an amazing job in Indiana and was making lots of money and had a stable place for his family in every area, except emotionally, non of us liked the community we were in and none of us felt safe in any way in that living situation. I was incredibly glad we were leaving, there was a lot of bad memories there, especially being that their marriage was on the rocks. When we got to AZ, my brother went off and ran away and got arrested and put on probation and was made to go to AA. I was 12 and followed his example, by stealing things, yelling at people, drinking, and acting out my pain in varying, attention seeking ways. I felt like they were giving all of the attention to my brother, so I didn’t know how to get love and affection from them anymore; I felt so lost and alone. I had no-one I trusted and it seemed like they just wanted to throw my brother away in many ways.
I remember having a relatively traumatic childhood and life in general. I never really felt safe after a certain age, I think 6, I just wanted to have a normal home, I didn’t like my life. My parents finally split up, which was a relief, but I had wished it had come much sooner than it did. I simultaneously started acting wild, right along side of my brother. I lost my virginity and started drinking a lot, and I remember when it happened my mom and dad found out. I remember the most traumatic thing, I ever experienced in my entire life, was having a police officer drive me home when I was drunk at the age of 12, and my parents told the officer to simply take me away. I completely shut down to the world around me. I was crying out in pain and my parents were so emotionally disconnected and overwhelmed, they couldn’t hear them at the time. It ended up with me being abused and locked away for the majority of my teen years.
At the age of 14, I had, had quite a run with the law, going to AA, doing community service, having a 5:30 curfew every day or facing jail time. It was clear to me, I had no freedom on any level. I was imprisoned by my traumas, and literally by the Juvenile detention center. My father had left to Indiana and had seemingly abandoned me, and I hated him. He came out to visit for my 14th birthday, took me to get a haircut, got me a TV, Playstation 2, laptop, and a guitar; Out of all of those gifts, the acoustic guitar is the one still sitting beside me in my room today as I write this. I instantly wanted to know more about it. I had always wanted to learn the way Tony Iommi made all those wild sounds on the guitar. I remember wanting so badly to make the sounds that brought me comfort for so many years, music was the only thing that brought me peace and made me feel at home.
I picked it up and seemingly didn’t put it back down. I played anywhere between 6 and 9 hours a day, it took me away from the world being a lonely and cruel place, it brightened the days and gave expression to feelings, I did’n’t have words for. I instantaneously felt a drive and a passion within, a purpose, a new calling, something that gave my life meaning. I wanted nothing more than to learn everything there was to know about music. I had been around support groups with my family and for myself for a long time, my childhood was so confusing and scary. All of these hard facts of my existence where instantaneously made bearable and my musical taste diversified, because I had a thirst, a craving to learn more, to hear more. All of the sudden, I wanted bigger speakers and amps and instruments, I wanted to be surrounded by it. I wanted to make the most impactful, beautiful and mesmerizing soundscapes. I envisioned myself running across the tops of clouds, looking out at beautiful scenery, encapsulating my experience in a bubble of frequency that sets memories free every time its played. A song that soothes in a hard time, a song that livens when I am feeling slightly tired, songs that truly help me to focus on my studies, songs that made me think about the way of the world. The world of music was so broad roomy and all inclusive and the best part about it, was, it was ok to be me, even if that wasn’t ok with you. It seemed the whole world told me, its not ok to be me and music didn’t, music had no expectation, just acceptance of all things.
I had an outlet that finally allowed me some personal freedom and control it seemed. I practiced vigorously and loved every second of discovery I experienced. I began to research artists, I wanted to hear the best of the best, those who had put the most effort into their work to make the most appealing melodies you could make. I began comparing tunes and categorizing, opening myself up to tunes that maybe I had previously been closed minded to, and it helped give me a sense of identity and purpose, finding the combinations in composition that were relatable on a visceral level. I was am and will always be grateful for this.
The world of music took on a continuous bloom in front of me, every song on the radio, every fact, every inflection, I needed to learn, and I began seeing the soothing qualities it had on others, especially the more I started to seek spiritual principles and philosophies, that supported this idea. I started finding all of this cool info, like singing together synchronizes heart beats, our hearts emit a 6ft electromagnetic field around us, we have pyramid neurons that interact with electromagnetic frequencies outside of our physical bodies that can be seen with the use of a Magnetoencephalagraph, and its a drug! Listening to music releases dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which work with our endocrine system to invigorate our senses on every level. I was always diagnosed ADHD as a kid and I used music as a stimulant, coupled with physical exercise to help me focus in a lot of different areas. When I was at work at a job, if I was able to listen to headphones, my efficiency doubled, and if they took the headphone privilege away, my energy levels diminished immensely; I found out later, there was a scientific reason for this, because of the way the sound waves are interpreted by the brain and turned into an energetic, euphoric, neurochemical cocktail that enhanced every aspect of life in general.
I made this blog to continue my research and journey of discovery, while sharing parts of my experience that taught me something new, and gave me new tools to live with. I don’t have enough words to express the level of appreciation I have for music and what it has done for me.
Thank you all for sharing this journey with me and reading my blog. I genuinely hope I can be of service and hopefully help someone with my experience. If you all have any questions, comments or shout outs, leave them in the comment section! PEACE!!