…to music and teaching music. I dunno exactly what it is. BUT, it is epitomized wonderfully in this documentary about the legendary Sound City recording studio in LA:
There is so much that is good about this movie, I can’t even begin to tell you what it is. I’m fired up. Ooo-wee baby! Gawd, where to start with all this…
One thing, I think, is this: Earlier I posted about how our music instruments are really just tools, or as I put it, an “emotion delivery system”. When I wrote that, I wasn’t trying to de-humanize these wonderful instruments we play, I was trying to emphasize how important it is that we use these instruments to communicate with other people. Especially the folks you’re playing with. Especially your audience. All of them, yes.
And this documentary totally gets that. Totally. Here, they also frame it as a striking a balance between good uses of technology (i.e. using the technology to help you communicate with people, a la Nine Inch Nails) or allowing technology to isolate you from other humans (i.e. creating an entire album on your laptop).
And yes, I’m exaggerating to make a point here, but hear me out: I have read that what differentiates humans as a species is our ability to work together, to help each other out. Music is one of THE great contributions that we humans have have given the world, and I believe that when we don’t work together to create music (in this case, I define ‘together’ as sharing a physical space with another human while you create music) it suffers.
And yes, of course there are examples of great music being created by an individual. But it’s rare that I hear these examples and don’t also feel that it could have been better if there was more collaboration, more working with others to get it to ‘speak’ more broadly to its intended audience. In the rare instances where something like this totally works, to me, these examples are ‘outliers’, or exceptions to the rule.
I have no idea if this makes sense; if not, it’s just my inability to put this all down in words. Words can fail you sometimes, and nowhere more than in writing about music (for me, at least). Reminds me of that Martin Mull quote, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”. Yeah, you can do it, but a lot gets lost in the process 😉
THIS is the stuff that I get all wired up about late at night, and then I can’t sleep (the most glorious sleeplessness ever, but still…sleeplessness…) Oy.