Monday Musical Moment: MMM: In Your Atmosphere
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the cooler weather!
The music I want to share with you today comes from a live concert called “Where the Light Is” performed by acclaimed singer/song-writer John Mayer in Los Angeles in 2007. I introduced this performance, and my strong affinity for it, earlier in August, but I couldn’t wait to share another gem from this absolutely incredible performance! The entire show is great start-to-finish, but there are a few moments that really stick in my head and heart. The song “In Your Atmosphere” is one of those moments.
I’ve always heard the words of the song from the perspective of someone who has had a painful end to a relationship and now can’t imagine going to L.A. anymore, where the other person is, whether they catch a glimpse of them or not. The chorus goes like this:
“I’m going to steer clear
Or burn up in your atmosphere
I’m going to steer clear
‘Cause I’d die if I saw you
I’d die if I didn’t see you there”
I think many of us can relate to the conflict after ending a relationship, where you want to see them, but also don’t. I had my first major heartbreak in my hometown, and I know I had a hard time driving past the neighborhood where she lived. In fact, I still have strong memories driving through that part of town to this day. Part of all of us growing older is having more and more moments of returning to places that hold powerful memories, whether that’s driving by the home you grew up in, going back to an old high school, visiting a restaurant you used to go to with a loved one, or countless others.
As a hopeless romantic growing up –and perhaps still today– I often drove around by myself listening to music, often one of many custom-mixed CDs with sappy music I made myself that were regularly blasted through my car speakers. As an “adult,” there have also been many moments after break-ups, or similarly emotionally difficult moments, where I’ve found myself alone in a car with nothing but my thoughts and my music, which may be one reason why this song really resonated with me. One of my favorite lines is, “the ten and the two is the loneliest sight,” referring to two hands on a steering wheel.
My good friend introduced me to this album in 2015 and I seem to always come back to it. John Mayer’s overall musicality, with virtuoso guitar playing and expressive singing, really make the lyrics come alive. For the guitar buffs out there, you can see in the live video how he not only makes the shifts look easy, playing the accompaniment and melodic lines, but also incorporates harmonics (lightly touching the string to produce a higher frequency), which creates this “atmospheric” texture.
I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. Have a great week!