Welcome to Our September Issue
Welcome to our September issue of Natural Awakenings magazine. Along with several articles on yoga practice, this month’s theme focuses on music as medicine and developing an appreciation for it in our children. Music as always been an important part of my life, so I find that this subject does resonate with me.
My appreciation for music probably started around age 8, with my older brother’s Beatles 45s playing over and over. I suppose I was a bit too young to be a Beatles fan at the moment when they were at their peak, but I vividly recall Christmas presents of Elton John and Bachman Turner Overdrive albums from my grandmother in 1974 at age 10. I was hooked, and started seeking out new sounds as a part of my lifestyle. The ‘70s and ‘80s were a golden age for music. In 1990, I had the good fortune to move to “the live music capitol of the world”, Austin, Texas. For 17 years I was exposed to a wider variety of musical styles, including jazz, country, Mexican conjunto and blues. I saw many awesome performers in Austin, which really increased my appreciation of the writer that could say things in a song that could not be expressed any other way.
Looking back, I realize that music has always provided the soundtrack of my life. From friendships centered on going to live performances to party bands that brought people together in celebration of life to motivational songs that get the blood pumping and the many relationship songs that get to heart of our existence. Music has always been a friend. I’ve traveled the world from the comfort of my home, listening to musicians from all over the globe. Now with YouTube, I can witness performances from my living room. I can see myself in old age with the headphone on and jamming to some band that is giving their all to capture the audience in front of them. I respect the dedication of the musician and try to support local bands when possible.
I recall a particular point in my life when I music gave me a big lift and new direction. My personal space had been emptied of pretty much everything of meaning and I was looking to start over. I didn’t have a lot of money, so I was shopping at consignment shops and thrift shops for new-to-me household items when I walked into a shop in East Greenville. I didn’t really see anything I needed,so I was about to leave when I saw a stereo system sitting on the floor in a box. The shopkeeper said it just came in about 20 minutes ago, and he would take $25 for it. Since I did not have a sound system at the time, I took a look and to my surprise, it contained two beat-up Bose 301 bookshelf speakers, along with an amplifier and a single-disk CD player. I gave the $25 and hooked that system up as soon as I got home. I recall that empty condo being filled with beautiful music and my realization that everything was going to be all right.
Those speakers are still going strong today; in fact, I think I have listened to them during the production of over 100 issues of Natural Awakenings. That story always reminds me to seek out and enjoy music if I ever get into a tough time. I hope each reader finds a musical outlet that brings them that same piece of mind.
Reid Boyer, Publisher