Attunement is to try and adjust or accustom a person to a particular thing. Music is not just music if does not appease your ears and touches your soul. Living with her parents in the four-foot-tall wood-veneer hi-fi, Smith was accustomed to a particular genre of music. The likes of Luther Vandros and Britney Spears but never had heard that of a Canadian with the open tuned guitar. Her parents were great lovers of music but she clearly wouldn’t understand how a particular kind of music had passed them or maybe they had heard of it but misunderstood it. As a Smith, we loved songs that made us laugh, dance or cry.
Her dislike for white women music and love for black women was open. As a family, we loved listening to black women music and of white men and rarely that of white women. As a music lover, she never saw the need to listen to white women music since they had better music from black women. Voices from white women weren’t that impressive compared to that of blacks. They had rasps in their throats. Music can both be a sweet relaxing voice or an ugly noise to your ears. In this essay we will see how Joni Mitchell, a white woman’s music was first a nuisance to her and loathed it but later came to be a voice hard to resist and brought out her emotions out.
She was first in college where she kept sneaking music from blacks in the drawers but was being replaced with that of whites. Fellow students loved different music. She heard a sharp piercing sound, a sort of wailing from a white woman, picking out notes in a no sequence. She was out of tune (Smith). She picked up the CD cover and her friend Tamara a music lover and Jessica noticed her dislike for Joni Mitchell. She had to pretend to like her and at the age of twenty, she continued listening to Joni Mitchell though she never categorized that as music but an interesting noise.
She was the age of thirty three and she still hadn’t found the love for Joni. She was on her way to a weeding with her loving husband whom the opposite of Smith loved Joni and was playing it on the car’s stereo when Smith realized that there was something disturbing her but didn’t give it much thought till she concentrated and heard it was the piping voice she hated. She tried to switch it off describing the bits as jingle bells but realized they were when her husband smiled. During their stop at a service station when deep in her thoughts, out of nowhere, she began humming the song. She knew she would not lose this memory compared to the rest she didn’t mind loosing. She compared herself with the author of “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” since they had the same experience. The writer loved Tintern Abbey when he visited it first but on visiting it again, he realized that he loved it differently “mellowed maturity”. Being back there made him see an earlier version of himself and that’s what smith was experiencing at the moment.
Is it possible to hate something that much and later love it unreasonably? Smith would not really understand this and her transformation. Her change was unconscious. How she saw Joni’s music and what she was seeing at that particular time was totally different. The content of music did not interest her but the transformation of listening. She didn’t love Joni Mitchell by forcing herself to sit and listen to her music but it just came. This was not the kind of progressive change she experienced with novels but really different.
Listening to Joni Mitchell music after her transformation had an effect on her: uncontrollable tears. An emotional overcoming, disconcertingly distant from happiness, more like joy. She wouldn’t listen to her music when people were around or when walking on the streets without letting out her emotions. She was now attuned to Joni’s music.
Smith regret that she can’t listen to a particular music since her time is past and she’s now a mother. In a sour spirit she finds her friends with all the time to explore every kind of music since they do not have children but that is a mere excuse. During her prime age, she was narrower and more resistant. She wanted to stick her music and that she’s past all that, she wishes if she was able to have many “musical parents” to guide her through. She wished that her changes to listen to all music as her friends insisted would have easily like that of Joni.
It is important if Smith had listened to her friends and explored all kinds of music and be a real connoisseur. She would have enjoyed her prime listening to music without sticking to a particular kind and she wouldn’t have to regret it later and wishing that time would allow her to listen to “Talking Heads”. She should have given everything a try. Time cannot be stopped. She wondered how it would be to hear her childhood music processed through Joni Mitchell sensibility. She came to k now that Joni too had her black periods and decided to have time to listen to her music since there is an attachment between them and all she needed was a little attunement. All she wished is that she should have given everything a chance and would not have found her love for Joni that late.
Smith, Z. (2012, December 17) Some notes on attunement: A Voyage Around Joni Mitchell. The New Yorker. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from. http://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=2543
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