A quick note to say that this blog is now available in a mobile flavour too, so feel free to use it on your iPhone / Touch / Android etc.
As many of you who are reading this will know, I am a big fan of mobile music technology. It gives you the ability to do so much on the move and take so much with you on the go too. I still have an iPod classic with my entire music library on it and that’s great to be able to take with me wherever I go.
But there is a downside though. Often I find myself flicking through my music library in the same way as you might flick through TV channels. There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing it all, but it does change the way we listen to music, and in my opinion, it moves along the line from listening to consuming.
Of course, there are now a vast array of services to help us do just that, from iTunes, to Spotify and lots more, and whilst lots of these services are great for discovering new music they do push us along this line from listening to consuming.
This was brought home to me a little while ago when a friend asked me over to play some of my vinyl. I hadn’t just sat and listened to an album for a long time. Sure, I’d had an album on while I was out, or while I was working or generally doing something else, but not just sat and listened to the music. I found the experience liberating.
It made me realise that I do consume music most of the time and I don’t really actively listen a great deal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a soundtrack to my day whether I’m working, driving, walking through town etc. But the experience of just sitting still and absorbing music as an active participant rather than as a passive consumer is one that I rarely take part in.
As a result I started to think about ways of adjusting the balance back from consumption to listening. It made me think of book clubs. where people read and discuss a book at great length. It made me wonder if such a thing existed for music.
I think it would be wonderful to go to a sound club, or a music club where the point was to listen to a piece or an album once a month then get together and discuss it in great detail.
I’ve no idea if such a thing exists, but I hope it does.
I’ve been a fan of Laurie Anderson for as long as I can remember now so I was so pleased to finally get my physical copy of Homeland together with a signed 12″ of ‘Only an Expert’.
Homeland is a great album. I remember seeing Laurie Anderson perform it at the Barbican a couple of years ago. What an amazing show that was.
One of the things that I really enjoy about her music and especially her lyrics is the way she sees things from a very different perspective to the everyday. It’s more than just a step back and look at things with fresh eyes, it’s more of a step back and to one side and repeat for quite a while. If that makes sense.
Getting a different perspective is so important. I constantly find myself bombarded with news and opinion from every direction, be it the internet, TV, radio, print. Sometimes in the midst of all those competing opinions it is hard to find your own perspective, your own voice. Listening to Laurie Anderson reminds me that it is still there.
I was at the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival recently, which was great as it I had seriously thought it would never run again. The festival has had a few years off due to funding woes and for most festivals that normally means that they won’t be seen again. Not so for Beyond the Border. This year they were back just like there had been no break at all and I was very happy to be there.
It was a superb festival with lots of amazing music and stories from all over the world. Whenever I get to events like this I’m amazed at how riveting storytelling can be. How just listening to one person telling a story can captivate your imagination.
I’m so impressed at the immense cultural heritage that’s gathered in one place. It also reminds me of how easy it is to forget our own cultural heritage, and how in large cities we can forget our stories.
Stories are important, they help us to understand where we are in the world and make sense of things. Living in cities can disconnect us from our stories, and being at an event like Beyond the Border helps reestablish that connection, helps us remember our own stories and reminds us to continue to tell them.
It feels good that Beyond the Border is back. It should be on again in 2012, and I hope I’ll be there.
This blog won’t be about the world of mobile music. Although I’m sure that there will be lots of creative stuff that I want to talk about and some of that will inevitably be mobile related in some way.
But that’s not essentially what my own blog is about. Having said that, I’m not entirely sure what it is about, but I can tell you what it won’t be about, which is at least a start.
It isn’t about:
- Boring rants and complaints about the state of this, that or the other in the world / neighborhood
- It isn’t about what I’m having for lunch
- It won’t contain excessively dull family details about holidays and days out
- It won’t just be a another Palm Sounds, although there’ll be a little bit of an overlap
What it will be about will evolve over time, and as it does it’ll be interesting for me to see where it goes.
So don’t feel bad if you decide not to read this blog and just stick with Palm Sounds. That’s fine with me.
If you do stay with this, the please let me know what you think. As always, I’m interested in comments.