Here is a fun (and semi weepy) piece I wrote for SoundViz, a San Francisco start-up that turns your favorite sound into art.
Song: “American Girl” by Tom Petty
From an outside perspective, it’s simply hundreds of colorful
lines on a page. It fluctuates; drawing your eyes up and down, fast and then slow, traveling across the page like an unknown story told through sound.
To give you the inside scoop, my “American Girl” sound wave in it’s most basic form, is the result of listening to entirely too much Tom Petty during my childhood. My parents would blast his music at any given chance, and my sisters and I loved it; dancing our hearts out on the coffee table while ‘cleaning our room’, playing with friends or driving in the car with the windows rolled down.
But like the colorful lines on the page, there is so much more to the song.
My friends would often call us the ‘All-American family’. There are four of us girls, (I fall second in the lineup) along with my spirited mom and ever-patient dad. We also had a small male dog to balance out the estrogen that permeated our female-driven household. As a unit, we certainly weren’t perfect, but in hindsight, we did have some pretty stereotypical All-American traditions. Like going on family walks, bike rides or roller blades every Christmas morning. Or block parties with all of our neighbors, water balloon fights on fourth of July, endless summer BBQ’s, playing soccer, being baseball fans and living in the ‘burbs. Did I mention we competed as a family in a triathlon?
You get the point.
Amidst these classic memories, I have always seen myself as my dad’s little American girl. My dad and I have always had a special relationship. I was the star (allegedly) pitcher on the softball team he coached. He took me to Angels baseball games where we sat so high up in the nosebleeds that I feared we would fall off the ledge. We went on mountain bike rides together where we talked about school, friends, family and everything in between. Over the last few years, we have become the best travel partners. He took a solo trip to visit me while I studied abroad in Italy. We road tripped our way through pizza, pasta, vino and countless Italian cities. We adventured around Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Colorado to name a few others. We share a wanderlust spirit and have taken full advantage of sharing in these experiences together.
Earlier this year, I married the other best guy in my life. This new relationship has brought a unique, important and extraordinary form of love into my life. We share the deepness of a family kind of love, the spark of a new love and the trust of a forever love.
To remind my dad that no matter what, I will always be his, the DJ acoustically sang us “American Girl” by Tom Petty as we father-daughter danced our way into a new era of creating memories. Although I realize the lyrics aren’t necessarily father-daughter related, for my dad and I, it’s the overall theme, it’s Tom Petty and it’s the memories that makes it ours.
Our sound wave is a reflection of these evergreen moments, encapsulated in a song (and dance) that has become a bright spark for reminiscing on the good ol’ days. When someone asks about our SoundViz, or when we gaze at it perched on the wall, our memories come easy and we smile and laugh at everything those colorful lines represent.
Photo Credit: Shewanders Photography