Have you ever just uncontrollably bawled your eyes out listening to a song?
Come onnnnnn, I know you have. It’s a pretty common experience. At least for me, I can’t help it sometimes. I’ll hear a song build a chord so magnificently or resolve a particular progression so delicately- I just straight up cry.
I remember I was listening to this piece of classical music called “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber and right from the first note struck I knew: “Yup, here come the waterworks.”
Allow me to introduce you to it ☺.
Sometimes in our lives we need a soundtrack; we need something to make us feel like the main character. This piece is it. “Adagio” transcends emotions by the sheer power it has over it. It lifts and lifts and lifts and delicately settles into your soul.
I know there’s this common thought with classical music that it’s a little dated or a little boring.
As someone who grew up in LOVE with classical music, I could not disagree more but I will say this: it’s different.
“Adagio” encompasses this difference superbly! There’s no huge 808’s, no chorus, no words (at least in this one, there’s another choral arrangement that is equally superb), no pop-y hook, and nothing electronically created. It’s old, it’s rustic, and it’s long.
And yet it cuts straight to the soul.
This is why I love classical music so much. When I listen to pieces like this it’s like it comes right alongside me, meets me where I am, and shows me this unwritten story dedicated just to me.
And that’s another thing.
It’s just music. Like, that’s all it is. And yet, I M A G I N A T I O N.
This piece of music carries your imagination like crazy; it makes your feelings soar. But for me there’s something even deeper to it, more personal.
Earlier this past year, I lost my Abuelito to COVID and it sent a shockwave through my family. It was a tragic experience, but I learned about the great man my abuelito was. While I was in Mexico for his funeral, I would hear stories and stories about all the things he did. He was an honorable man and it was clear in the way people spoke about him that he made an impact.
With him gone, I was flooded with emotions. I am still flooded with emotions and “Adagio for Strings” has helped me to be sad. I mean you don’t hear that often. Usually it’s “Oh, I loved that song that made me feel better!” or “What a bop, it made me want to dance!” but songs like this do the opposite. It makes me feel the emotions I’m ACTUALLY feeling, not the ones I wished I was feeling. This song makes me think of my Abuelito and his life. It makes me remember that it’s ok to feel sad, that it’s ok not to be ok.
There are no words to this song and yet it tells you exactly what you need to hear by making space to feel your real, vulnerable emotions.
We all go through times in our life that break us. For me it was losing my Abuelito. In one way or another, each of us has a story like that to tell. We have those moments of when we were bitterly sad, we lost a loved one, or we experienced a tragic life event. Pieces of music like “Adagio for Strings” come near to us in a very human way, take our hand, and guide us through our emotions.
In the playlist below, I’ve included some more pieces from a multitude of genres that I feel guide us in a similar way through our really deep and profound emotions.