Thursday, 21 May 2009

More Down Time

I got to thinking today that I've been doing a lot of collecting of music recently but not a whole lot of listening. I think this is partly due to being busy working on music myself (although sometimes mostly logistics etc. as much as composition, practice etc.) but i think the major change is not having enforced "down time" in the way that I used to.

Mostly, this would be sitting on buses or trains or boats, travelling long distances on my own, to shows, from shows, to visit people, going home. Something about the majority of travel I've been doing over the last year or so seems to cut this style of detachment off - Whether its the novelty of using the U Bahn, cycling more (No headphones, its very dangerous!) or travelling in a duo, or a group...

Emma and I have been talking a lot recently about use of time - How to make the most of leisure, switch off from work and generally do good stuff / useful stuff as much as possible. While I do find this is somewhat easier in Berlin, I still find the temptation to "work" (inverted commas referring to work sometimes meaning switching between Cubase, iPlayer playing Great British Menu and Myspace / Facebook) pretty strong.

Its even evident on this blog - The last four or five entries have all either been adverts for shows, or new music sites I've joined, or remixes of whatever!
We seem to be missing activities which are slow, time consuming, analog. No more internet! More bike rides, more baking.
But what about more music?

I'm wondering how I can reinstate this lost "down time" in my current lifestyle. Have i just fallen into the obvious musician trap, where anything related to "work" becomes tainted, somehow? Its proving quite difficult to just sit down and allot time to "listening to music", especially for more than a few minutes. - Anyone have any ideas?

Suggestions please!

1 comment:

Joe Ruckus said...

I found something similar going on a while back, and what helped a shift towards listening more was trying to recapture shared listening.

My initial thinking was cut up with a little bit of a nostalgia tip going on, something to do with people not making LPs any more, just individual sliceoffable tracks, but eventually me and my bro started making a point of playing music to each other. We've been setting up some beers, some backgammon, and airtunes, and taking it in turns to pick out stuff to play to the other (album at a time or just track by track). We talk about the music, kinda educate each other, and have discogs &etc at hand to keep it going. Definitely feel like I'm enjoying listening again, and it makes for great freewheeling conversation.

A bunch of friends that go way back got together to have a proper 'launch' party when G'n'R's 'Chinese Democracy' finally saw the light of day - they gathered round and listened to it through in its entirety (partly 'cos that's what we used to do when records came out - either round one another's houses or sometimes the same thing'd happen at the only indie club in town). Perhaps hard to maintain on a daily basis, but it rekindles a not-strictly-professional engagement with listening.