I’ve recently came to the conclusion that music is my favourite of the art forms and the one that I find most indispensable. If I’m ever in the depths of despair, if something seriously bad was to happen, I wouldn’t be taking refuge in a novel, or even poetry. I’d most likely be listening to music, over and over again.
I’ve never learned an instrument or had any real skill in the crafting of it, but I’ve always been a voracious listener. As a confused peroxidey teenager, I’d listen all the time, downloading individual tracks on Limewire; breaking laptop after laptop, feeding music into my Ipod. Each song like a collector’s item and listening to them over and over again as I cycled round the village on my mountain bike, finding my way in life, on my own little journey, accompanied by its own eclectic little themes- anything from Keane to Klaxons. I’d listen as I walked home from the bus stop, contemplating the latest social scandal I’d got myself into with my mobile phone, the latest insipid girl that I pined for and all other imbroglios. If I was to listen to Jack Peñate now I’d probably feel like I was 15 again. Best not to.
I think people have a serious problem in that they don’t see the value of it. Music is free for everyone, and accessible whenever you want it. Discovering it is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Music punctuates what’s going on in your life at the time and gives it both meaning and significance. Meaning and significance which is perhaps much needed as we are arbitrarily generated and propelled into the agonising vortex of life briefly before it consumes us for all eternity, dispersing our peripatetic atoms across the Universe. It’s no wonder that the non-believers listen to much more and better music than the believers do. You don’t need god to get through it all, when you have music. Just ask Neitzsche, he realised this nearly 130 years ago, and this was before proper techno was being produced.
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich himself.
It adds order to the chaos, it joins up the dots and provides your own unique life with it’s own unique sound track. What’s more, if you search hard enough and you want it, you’ll find music that will help you reach places no body has ever reached before. At whatever unique place you are in life, choosing to listen to (presumably good) music, you are giving your brain the chance to interpret sensory experiences in a way that nobody else has ever had the fortune of doing before. And these experiences will turn into memories that you can look back on fondly, whenever you want at the touch of a button (just not Mr. Brightside please, okay I understand it was a good track but it’s dead now, get over it).
The act of listening is very easy, and never time consuming. It’s effect on the brain is immediate and it can accompany and enhance almost any situation (other than eating and reading, and arguments with family, I find) and can be enjoyed by thousands of people all at once, in one location. Also there’s so much of it, electronic music is constantly developing due to the infinite library of sounds that can be created and used in tracks. Readers of my Rise of Intellechno will understand that a lot of that blog was a joke. But behind all good jokes, lies an element of truth. I wholeheartedly believe that this new techno is the best shit there is. Probably the best shit there has ever been, it’s music for body and mind, and it’s becoming more and more popular by the week. Whether you choose to take my word for it or not is up to you.
Similarly to if you want to read good books, you’ll be confronted by the paradox of choice if you want to listen to the best music. You might feel paralysed by how much of it there is and choose not to risk failure by trying at all.You’ll listen to some stuff and not hear anything, though it might later turn out to be the work of your favourite artist. Just get over the hurdle. You’d be a wallowing imbecile and a waste of space if you didn’t simply get over it and immerse yourself in at every turn. One of life’s great tragedies is missing the boat. To stay at the port would display appalling sloth and arrogance. You must aim to always get on the boat because you don’t know where it might take you.
My friends and I don’t get each other Christmas presents. But if one of them bought me a pair of trainers one Christmas or a PlayStation I’d be extremely grateful. But in reality, if throughout the year that person was to share music with me, give me artist names that I can discover and delight in for the years to come, and give me license to develop and refine my taste then that surely is the greater gift and the richer source of pleasure. And one which we can all make the effort to give for free.
If we were able to rationally ascribe a value to music, based on the enjoyment it provides, it would be somewhere between reasonably expensive- highly extortionate . But because it’s free we foolishly set it aside and merely shrug our shoulders if we allow the best of it to slip the net. And what’s absolutely reprehensible is that we shake off recommendations provided by our friends- that’s the equivalent of me buying you a pair of shoes I think you’ll really like based on your preferences and you never even bothering to take them out of the box. We also covet music as well, which is greedy. If for whatever reason you miss or lose a track you should feel like you’ve lost a piece of your life.
And no, that really isn’t hyperbole.
You will see that the Music category has returned to the LordoftheReeves menu above.