Sunday, January 12, 2014

A New Kind of Speed Addiction

You might not have noticed it, but one of the strongest effects of a steady diet of recorded music is similar to the effects of speed-reading: You get through a lot of material lickety-split, but miss a great deal in the process.

This is accomplished by simplifying the sound input that remains on the disc when you finally listen to it, and by the reduction implicit in transmission via an ear bud or headset.

To take in the fullness of sound with all its rich resonance requires the ability to enlarge sound moments so that they have more than one dimension.  I have seen countless amateur musicians try, and fail, to hold themselves to the standard of speed they covet from listening to music via recordings.  In the process of striving for that meaningless goal they shortchange themselves, for their innate responses are usually infinitely more interesting and more revealing about the music than the commercially homogenized product they so envy.

Check it out: Music Inside and Out