Jarod Reyes (@jreyesdesign) is a designer with Voxy. http://jarodreyes.tumblr.com
The formative moments sometime happen when you’re passed out, when the musical gods plant a seed that changes your life. I was a freshman at college, in a dorm full of guys whose musical epiphanies usually involved rebellious teenage-angst rock… or at the time every post-punk piece of garbage on the radio. I too, having been raised on an unhealthy amount of Amy Grant, was woefully unaware of the potential of music, and so I began seeking out any artist I had never heard of.
I started hanging out with the less-cool kids, who conversely had the best taste in music, going to coffee shops to watch open mics and I started doodling on the guitar in a serious way. It was all par-for-the-course “coming of musical age” stuff, but I was cramming it in at light speed.
Then one night, while studying, I put on a CD my friend Alex had given me. I had tried a few times to listen to it, since Alex had insisted I give it a try, but it was a slowish album and dammit, I was in a hurry to hear as much music as possible. This one night however I let it play in the background as I studied, paying little attention, but the silky voice of the singer did it’s work and I promptly fell asleep.
It must have been 4am when I awoke to realize I had fallen asleep at my desk. And in the fog of waking, confused and groggy, I heard a melody in my ears, ghostly and gorgeous. It was incredibly sad, like the weight of the emotions could at any moment crush the lilting chorus, and it was and still is a song I sing at every special occasion, to whoever will listen, any time I have my guitar. It was Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” and it was stunning. Aside from awakening me to the power of a poet, and the beauty in pain, it was formative for another reason. Jeff Buckley had been dead at that point for 3 years, and to me, his new biggest fan, it was heartbreaking. So to this day, I seek out music from every corner of world, with as much of my time as possible, hoping to hear that melody that reaches more than the ears, and if I’m lucky, wakes me up.