By ANA AMMANN //
Give a little, get a lot. Holiday message from OMN's Publisher.
Much emphasis is being placed on the psychology of gratitude these days, and I’m buying it.
I believe in the power of positivity and the idea that practicing gratitude naturally puts you in an optimistic space. It’s not always easy to be in that frame of mind, but there are two areas that are a little easier to focus on for me - those situations that involve the people and experiences in my life.
Musicians are the people that impact the experiences in my life the most, so as we near that time of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my gratitude for the gifts these artists bring into my life every day.
My best moments and experiences this year all involved music. I fell in love (more than once!) with a new artist’s music; got lost in a moment at a concert with the crowd and again with that one special person during that one special song; saw many of my friends perform their music in venues around the world; got choked up when a friend surprised me for my birthday by learning my favorite song and performed it; watched Alaya and Chad walk down the aisle to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”; and with my community of friends, wrote and recorded a song for my son’s graduation to tell him how much he meant to me.
Music transcends language and cultural barriers, and as the French writer, Victor Hugo, said in one of his works, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” I am grateful to the musicians whose melodies evoke deep sorrow, ecstatic joy and cause me to feel deeply. I am indebted to the artists who have the lyrical courage to speak the words I cannot bear to speak myself. I am appreciative of the love, peace, passion, creativity, anger, and melancholy that music evokes. And I am gratified by how a simple pop song can alter my mood by being pure fun and entertainment.
If you are a musician – please keep writing and performing, for I try to imagine my life without music and I cannot. If you are a music lover, express your appreciation for the artists that move you. Let them know their work is valued and meaningful. Tell them. Buy their music. Support their crowdfunding campaigns. Share their social media feeds and extend their messages. I believe if we can all give a little, we receive so much in return.
With the holiday season around the corner, I’ve noted how much Oregonians in particular are in support of businesses like REI that are thinking outside the gift box and electing to give Black Friday back to families. I encourage our readers to do the same when it comes to gift giving - instead of a cashmere sweater or gloves this holiday, give an experience – tickets to a concert, a new CD, some cool merch from your favorite local artist - and support the amazing community of creatives all around us.
We hope you will celebrate the holiday season with us and hear five of Portland’s most talented musicians as they perform special acoustic sets at the OMN Holiday party, Thursday, December 10th at the Star Theater. It’s free, our way of saying thank you to our music community for their gifts, and our thanks to you, our readers, for allowing us to serve you these past six years.