personal narrative by Navya Dasari

It may be the age of digital music, but there’s a certain poetry to liner notes that cannot be denied. The music tells a story, and the liner notes spin it in a new direction: a prologue, maybe, with the story of an album’s production, or a dedication, with a message to the people who inspired or helped with the album. My favorites have always been the sort that function as footnotes; I remember lying on the couch with a booklet in my hand, faithfully turning the page when I heard the click of the CD player, letting the musician’s notes on each song bleed into the notes themselves. For me, those pages expanded each song’s meaning, let me feel closer to the music.

We look for music that speaks to us, so it’s always fun for me to imagine my personality distilled into an album— how the “soundtrack to my life” would sound. But my childhood habit asks a different question yet: What might the liner notes say?

If my life were composed of music, perhaps these (fortunately or otherwise) would be mine:

LET’S GO HOME is a sweet ballad about comfort and compassion, which strives to be the musical equivalent of a warm hug (or many) without being sugary enough to cause a toothache. Sorry.

MUSINGS is slow soft rock that lends itself to thought; introspection set to piano music. For days on (or a life in) which your thoughts are so loud and fast only something quiet will balance them out. Also for nights on which you lie under the stars and realize you are the second Plato.

PLAYING WITH FIRE is a punk rock song that celebrates living with passion and thriving on intensity, in a way much more personal and much less obvious. The title is meant to remind you that, contrary to popular opinion, I should have been in The Runaways.

HEARTBEAT is power pop to burn my identity into this world, and make you question yours, all in the most cheerful, open-minded way possible and with a spirit reminiscent of bubblegum.

MISTAKES is a melancholy trip hop song for the days when only gloomy electronica and smooth female vocals can simultaneously indulge your insecurities and make you feel less empty. If you don’t have these days, it’s weird gypsy music for self-pitying goth girls.

VISION relates the obsession every artist has with her work. A fast beat and rousing chorus, along with an abrupt conclusion, emphasize the relentless pursuit of perfection… and the improbability of achieving it. (It can’t be impossible, just can’t be.)

CHANGE ME is the ubiquitous angsty alternative rock song about the gap between who you are and who people expect you to be. Loud drums and guitars fulfill the requirement for a song about dysphoria, so shove off.

SOMETHING IN THE HORIZON is a jazzy, bluesy song where hope is tinged with darkness or darkness is tinged with hope and everything is swinging, because I really just want to be Billie Holiday.

STILL SWINGING is a cabaret song for people who don’t make sense and aren’t about to apologize for it. Embracing your insanity can mean striking the fragile balance between the need for emotional stability and the realization that confusing people can be fun.

Personal Memoir, 2014 Scholastic Writing Awards Gold Key

Share your thoughts.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: