Can you feel the music?

2015 September 17
by Tanya McGinnity

I can feel it.

I have discovered in the past little while that I respond to ASMR triggers of the auditory kind. As a kid I had this kind of reaction but never really knew what it was and it seems like it now has a name and has become a recognized thing.


I get shivers in my arms, head and sometimes chest when I’d hear certain sounds. Whispering. The sound of typing (Yes.. I’m currently typing. No I’m not feeling it) and… music.

Music has always been a highly charged medium for me. I was thinking about how punk rock saved my life as a teenager. It was like yelling, screamey-sounding poetry to me. My feelings were out there another person’s lyrics. With every fast-paced beat. Every hooky change of tempo. I felt it. It resonated. Maybe it evoked some kind of primal, cave-woman sensation. Me like loud yelly, burly tuneage.

*Beats on bosom*

My love affair with music went a bit weird when I had a panic attack at a show. The very thing that I loved so much was still the same. It was my state of mind that had changed. Under different circumstances, I’d be carefree and enjoying the loud, blaring sounds, the energy of the space and really just feeling it.

Instead. I went to the washroom, paced around a bit and splashed cold water on my face. Breathing. Trying to breathe after feeling like I wasn’t breathing. Feeling terrified. Moments later, I was in a cab and feeling sideswiped by a WTF feeling that for the first time something that gave me joy was really effing scary to me.

It’s funny how we can get off track and sometimes the very things we love, morph into irritants or cause for great anxiety. The music didn’t change, the venue hadn’t changed. My relationship to live music did for a short period of time. Spotify. No problem. Live show. Nope. No thank you.

I’m thankful that my passion for music is back. I’m moving more into wanting to play and start a band. Hey. Why not dive right in? Viewing music with an entirely new framework and seeing it in it’s full expanse is exciting. When we have the ability to see our fears for what they are and acknowledge how much they hold us back, it can inspire us to reassess the way we relate to them.

I feel music differently now. Back to the way I felt it before.

One Response
  1. September 19, 2015

    I never heard of ASMR until you wrote about it. I always feel like dancing to certain songs and usually do, even in public. I feel as though I have to move to the beat and it makes me happy. I wonder if you are an HSP and that’s why you don’t like concerts. Maybe you feel the people’s personal energy and it overwhelms you. I am an empath and I don’t like crowds either but I will go to an ACDC concert. I don’t like loud noises. They make me nervous… or big cities, forget about taking me to San Francisco or Los Angeles. I get sensory overload. Anyway good post. And I look forward to hearing music from your band. Namaste, Ingebird

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