By Hanneke Rabe
The cheerful banging of piano keys at the beginning of Journey’s “Don’t stop believing” setting the scene of a new beginning and adventures to come.
Axl Rose’s iconic screech from Guns and Roses’ “Sweet child O’ Mine” painting a picture of his girl’s eyes like the bluest skies.
Iron Maiden’s poetic portrayal of the airship R101 tragedy, damning you as a passenger in the ship as it plummets from the sky in “Empire of the clouds”.
These three songs render me goose-bumped and in awe of the power of music. I don’t have a single favourite sound experience, I have many! Music is one of the most important things in my life; it allows me an escape and it moves my soul. It is essential when I am experimenting with a new dish in the kitchen and critical when pounding the pavement on my daily run.
I will forever associate the Du Toitskloof Pass with “Wherever I may roam “ by Metallica, watching the endless mountain peaks and breathing the crispest cold air from the back of a motorcycle. I can taste bubble gum when I hear the Spice Girls and I always hear the Jaws theme song when doing laps in a pool. I sing at the top of my lungs when I hear Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” acting like a total “Scaramouche” and I am not satisfied to sing only the words; I must sing the second voice as well as the guitar part for full effect.
Music is one of the most powerful antidepressants; it lowers stress and reduces anxiety. Music helps you sleep better and even eat less according to recent studies. Most interestingly, music strengthens your memory, demonstrating yet again the fundamental link between your hearing and your memory. No wonder thoughts and memories come rushing back to you when hearing a familiar song!
I can’t enjoy this special experience without my hearing. To me, without music – life would be so much less meaningful.