I’m not one for buying new things.
For instance my phone is not “smart” (is it dumb?)
It doesn’t play music, or connect to facebook, or have any apps.
My music comes from my iPod (that’s right, I still have one of those).
Not only do I rock it old school with an iPod, but it is an iPod that hasn’t been updated in several years (the curse of Apple – Linux compatibility, why hasn’t someone fixed this yet?).
Last week my good friend left for Vietnam. We decided to hang out before he left. Nothing too crazy, just some beers, some pictures of downtown Danang, and some music.
He is a music man.
He is constantly telling me new music that I should be listening to (which I subsequently forget about).
He was playing DJ.
He turned to me and asked, “Hey, do you want to update your iPod? I’ve got some music I want to give you.”
I thought, why not?
I’m definitely in need of some fresh music.
I barely listen to my iPod anymore, half of it is stuff that no longer interests me, and the other half has been listened to a thousand times over. It’s gone stale.
I have a moment where I think, what if I want to listen to this stuff later? But then I think about change, about not being stagnant, not living in the past, and how I don’t even listen to half this crap.
Ok, let’s do this.
We start going through, deleting albums, deleting whole artists.
Each cut going deeper, it’s exhilarating. I’m getting more into it with each album lost.
It’s like a cleanse, clearing out the old to make way for the new.
By the end I’ve got only a tiny fraction of the music I once had (those few albums, artists, and sometimes individual songs, that still bring me joy).
Then comes the process of re-filling with new music.
I leave it to him, trusting his judgement and taste.
He asks me a few times if I’ve heard of such-and-such artist. He comments that I would probably enjoy so-and-so.
A few names stick, but for much of it, it’s pure mystery.
It’s exciting, it’s intriguing. It’s a new adventure in music.
Now we’re at the present.
And in the past week I’ve listened to more music than I have in the last several months.
I listen on the bus, as I walk, as I relax, as I write, as I… well whatever I do, I listen.
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” ― Confucius
It’s almost as though I forgot how much I love it.
I mean, I know I love music, I still play my instrument regularly.
But I forgot how much I love the music of others.
How much it moves me. How much it inspires me. How much it makes me feel.
I thought that perhaps by listening to all these other artists that my own creativity might fade, might diminish in the face of more talented artists.
I thought that perhaps my unique take on music might just become rehashed bit of others songs.
But that is not the case.
In fact, I feel more inspired than ever.
Now I hear something in a song, and want to express what it make me feel, in my own way, with my own music.
It makes me want to expand my musical horizons, branch out from my simple 3-chord folk, and create something new that incorporates bits of everything, something from every genre.
It makes me want to improve my skills, my ability to make the music in my head into a reality that the world can enjoy.
I want to make music.
I want to listen to the music of others.
I want my life to be a constant musical event.
I want more music!
Ooo, I like this song.
Keep the music playing.
“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
― Albert Einstein
“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Music is an outburst of the soul.”
― Frederick Delius