Article by Lauren Maul, Merry Jane
I remember being in my dorm room in the early 2000s, stoned, with my buddy looking for some relaxing music to play on my laptop. “Just wait,” I said. “This is gonna be great.” I scrolled through my music library and finally settled on my favorite angry, acoustic, feminist singer at the time, Ani DiFranco.
As the angsty, twangy acoustic sounds began to emanate from the tinny speakers, I suddenly couldn’t handle it anymore. My friend and I simultaneously slammed my laptop shut. He sighed and shook his head. “Yikes. We need to get you some stoner music.” I didn’t know what he meant, but something told me my Ani days were over.
At that time in my life I was new to the ways of cannabis and it hadn’t crossed my mind that Mary Jane could affect my listening preferences. But suddenly, all I wanted to do was listen to trance-like, richly layered songs every time I got high. It was around that same time that I first started to compose my own music and I’d spend hours getting high and jamming-out in one of my college’s piano closets. (Pro-tip: Piano closets make great hot-boxes.)
There is a lot of wonderful research out there as to why music sounds different to us when we are high—and why we are able to create it more easily under the influenceof cannabis. In the delightful article “The Space between the Notes: Research on Cannabis and Music Perception,” Jorg Fachner presents several reasons why this marijuana-music magic happens.