I was saddened to learn of Tina Turner’s passing last week. She was a great positive influence. I saw her in concert for her farewell tour. I knew some of her music and decided to get some tickets at the last minute and they were in the last row of the Air Canada Centre. She was an incredible performer, so I looked further into her music and watched the film What’s Love Got to Do with It. The only good part is her resilience and how well she did in the end. I read her book I, Tina, which was even more harrowing. She credits Buddhist chanting as the practice that helped her find her resolve to leave Ike.
I read her other books and additional books she referenced on Buddhism. It does have a positive effect, although I can’t say I’m a strong adherent of the practice of chanting. Either a gentle movement practice or more quiet stillness seems to suit me better. I did listen to a variety of chanting material and put together this playlist a few years ago, featuring Tina Turner:
The main mantra is Nam myoho Renge Kyo and I found a slower, easier to follow version with Deva Premal. The meaning takes some interpretation and I will not presume to truly know, although I understand the repeated chanting aids in purifying the mind and spirit.
My interest in music developed from a young age. I enjoyed playing musical instruments and getting a Walkman with headphones was the coolest thing ever. I did have the sense from even that young age it was obnoxious to blare music in settings where it may disturb others. Speakers on the beach is not okay when others are within hearing range, especially with the vast amount of nonsense produced and consumed. Music has the capability to influence our mood and shapes perception of our surroundings. There’s music piped in at the grocery store!
I understand that Spotify playlists are popular and used by many. I stand for human curated music and I’m not a fan of algorithm driven music selection. Any music you hear at a class with me is specifically chosen by me on Apple Music (@vivian_law). I’m a music aficionado and I get inspiration from other humans, not algorithms. The autoplay feature on Spotify has yielded maybe one song out of a hundred that I enjoyed, so it is not a feature I appreciate at all- in fact it feels like force fed mediocrity. The Release Radar is something I give a listen and works a lot better for me than autoplay.
With exposure to more genres of music in my teenage years I found myself offended by vulgar lyrics. Friends who have known me since then were subjected to my pontification on ill effects of listening to such nonsense. I sounded like an old person back then and now that I am an older person, my sensibilities have not changed at all! No degrading lyrics are played at my cycling classes. We take requests and the policy is each rap song is matched with a country song.
Music is a form of subliminal messaging that we choose to expose ourselves to- so I recommend that we all be mindful to what messages we might receive in what we listen to and allow children to be exposed to.