As Get Outdoors month winds down, and summer concert series pick up we reached out to local musicians. Our hope was to subjectively understand how playing and listening to live music can have an impact on wellness. There are so many wonderful outdoor venues across the Upper Valley where you can connect with music, friends, neighbors and nature. In exploring this, we are grateful to share thoughts from Lyme resident, James Graham.
I love to play guitar and sing. I’ve been doing it since I was young and the practice always re-centers me when I’m feeling alienated or disconnected. Listening to my favorite artists has the same effect. It can either calm me down or excite me depending on my mood and what I choose to play or listen to. Music connects me to who I am and the world around.
As a performing musician, music can also be a source of stress. You work hard to create something meaningful and have to live with knowing it may not be accepted. This is a problem for all artists of course but when we focus on the act of creating and playing for its own sake we can overcome the fear and stress.
Music is a universal language that can convey meanings unlike any other language. It can move the mind, body, and spirit each independently and all together at the same time. Music is happening all around us all the time, whether it’s the sounds of birds in the early morning or cars on the highway through the day. We all make music in that sense. The sounds we make communicate who we are to the world. Musicians are simply interested in controlling sounds in a satisfying way.
I play a regular monthly gig at the Green House restaurant in Warren, NH with my friends. We play a mix of classic, contemporary and original rock music. When we are playing together there are moments where we become more than the sum of our individual efforts, where the music seems to take on a life of its own and lifts us all up together. It is difficult to describe but sometimes in those moments we feel we are our best selves and that keeps us coming back to the music.
You can support James by going to the Green House Restaurant this Friday night (6/24/22) starting at 7pm to enjoy live music.
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Shelby Wood Manager of Program Development
CommunityCare of Lyme Shelby@cclyme.org 802-468-7776
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