Saturday, August 16, 2008

Leif & Peter Anthony listening to music in Japan 1982

Music was always a hugely important part of Leif's life. He had an enormous music collection which he had spent enormous amounts of money on. Once he got his Mac computers, he had the entire collection on iTunes, and it ranged over the entire music spectrum, from Bach organ music to techno, from pop to acid rock, and many more genres, a large number of which I don't even know. There were rock songs from his junior high and high school days from the likes of Guns 'N Roses and even songs by Johnny Cash and Mariah Carey.

During the last months or year of his life, he increasingly gravitated toward music I would consider dark and depressing, undoubtedly a reflection of his mood and mental state.

We can choose music to reflect the way we are feeling, but we can also choose music to set a mood or change the way we feel. Music has such profound emotional impact, if it is music that speaks to us. I wish he had chosen music that would have lift4ed his mood and not deepened his despair.

I've been listening to some of Leif's music, and some of it I can't listen to without tears, partly because of the emotion of the music itself, and some because I can feel his mood through it. At Leif's memorial service, one of the songs we played was "Who Wants to Live Forever" by Queen. I can't listen to that song without tears. It is so quintessentially Leif. The words are about his life, the music is poignant and sad. I was caught unawares by it today, listening to music on his iPhone while working out, and had to try to control my reaction because others were around. It is an unbearably sad and beautiful song.

I wish that Leif had continued to play his guitars. Music could have been for him, as it was for me for many years, a deep emotional outlet.

The photo above was taken while we were living in Japan, but I don't have the location recorded. We were on an outing somewhere outside the Tokyo area and hiking. Peter A. and Leif were sharing a Walkman, which was something new and cool at the time. Peter A. was 13 and Leif was 7 years old.

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