listening and me

One of the things I do on my lunch hour is write in my journal. There are piles of essays in there on every topic that trips my trigger. Lately, I’m thinking seriously about my relationship with music and the guitar. It’s hard to do that and keep a straight face sometimes. We all want to believe that our relationship with music is unique. That it’s more complex than can be communicated in words. But I honestly believe that it’s like that for everyone. Music is a very different experience in that almost everyone listens to it and everyone who does has a reaction. I have met very few people who are indifferent about music. Ask someone about a genre and you are likely to hear either “love” or “hate” in the response. Seldom do we hear “yeah, I mean, I’m OK with country music.”

As I dig in to how my listening has changed over the last decade or so, it’s strange to see how picky I have become. It’s almost like my time is worth more now that we’re in a world where music is inexpensive and plentiful. And with the increase in the amount of music we have and the nearly invisible barrier to entry for artists, I don’t have the same personal gatekeepers that I once did. The result is that I strike out in fits and grab what clicks and leave the rest. It’s sad to say that I rarely let my iPod go on shuffle for more than two songs before I get twitchy and kick it over to the next song. And lately playlists are a bust as well.

Maybe I’m getting moody in my old age. Nah.

I think it plays into my creative process. I’m not interested in input right now. I want to play and record. I’d hate to think that my subconscious is silly enough to think it’s done listening, but maybe I need a break. Maybe it’s time to push full steam ahead and produce. Rolling into my least productive time of the year, that’s a frightening thought. But we have to ship, right? No point in saying you’re an artist if you never make anything.

  1. On the subject of guitars, have you seen It Might Get Loud? Part documentary, part biography of Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. I recommend and also wonder what a guitar maker and player thinks of the movie.

  2. that movie is my personal religion, so I guess you could say that I saw it. I keep it on my iPhone…just in case.

    the film is brilliant because you get three guys in various stages of their careers (Legend, Rock God, and Rising God-to-Be) and none of them have anything to prove because, well, no one in that crowd has to prove squat. it's an amazing flick. only wish I'd caught it on the big screen.

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