My Learning Loop

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” (Victor Hugo)

“Learning Loop” was an important project for me and certainly one of the most challenging sets that I ever put together as a DJ. It was also a very personal project as it allowed me to express an important life lesson with music.

Here’s what that life lesson is about: We all strive to be happy. Happiness is so important to us that we spend a lot of our time, money and energy trying to be happy. The “pursuit of happiness” is even part of the constitution of the USA. However, most of the time we fail miserably at being happy. And that’s normal. Everyone struggles to some degree. Again and again, we experience times during which we are angry, sad, jealous, depressed or otherwise feeling down for various reasons. And most of the time, we try to get out of that state of mind as quickly as possible. Friends try to cheer us up, we try to distract ourselves or we just wait until those unpleasant feelings pass.

That’s the first part of the lesson I learned: It’s ok to feel down. It’s normal. I shouldn’t feel bad about feeling bad.

I believe that at least partially, I learned this lesson through dark music: Industrial, Gothic, Dark Techno and Metal all embrace those dark feelings, sometimes even celebrate them. I feel that people who make and appreciate this type of music see something that not everyone sees.

For me, it doesn’t stop here though. Alternating between happiness and darkness and accepting both sides is already a big emotional development but I believe there’s more.

Sometimes – and these experiences are rare – I was able to discover something that was fundamentally new to me after going through phases of happiness and darkness several times. Those are the moments when I feel that I can understand a bit more of the endless complexity that we live in.

To use a metaphor: If happiness is like living on a beautiful island and darkness is the dangerous ocean around, then accepting the darkness means learning to swim. The ocean is still there and it’s still dangerous but you learn to live with it and even enjoy it to a certain degree. But the step beyond is more than that: It’s discovering what’s on the other side of the ocean. It’s what I call the “Eureka“-moment.

Putting all of this together, this is what I call the “learning loop”: Happiness, Darkness and Eureka.

Since this is hard to express with words, I wanted to express it with music. And that’s what I did over three editions of my monthly radio show on 674FM:

Part 1: Happiness

There’s plenty of happy music, especially in dance music. That’s what I was celebrating in this mix: Friendly house music, electro swing and also some broken beats. I am also exploring the question if there’s such a thing as too much happiness. Sometimes, overly happy music is seen as shallow or cheesy. You be the judge on this question:

Part 2: Darkness

Accepting, appreciating and even celebrating dark feelings and dark music is the theme of this mix. You will hear plenty of Dark Techno, Industrial, hard Drum&Bass and more:

Part 3: Eureka!

This was probably the hardest selection: I wanted to play music that feels like you have broken the cycle of happiness and darkness. Which makes you feel that you have advanced to a new level and have learned something fundamentally new. This can’t be expressed with only one genre so you will find Deep Techno, Futurepop and even some HipHop here:

All of the moderations are in German but I believe that the music is a universal language and speaks for itself.

About marvis (209 Articles)
Marvis is the founder of Sweet Headache. He lives in Cologne (Germany) and has been a music nerd for a long, long time.

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