In a recent post on The Talkhouse, Will Sheff of Okkervil River wrote about his method of listening to music. In an attempt to rediscover what he liked about music and move away from the opportunities that digital music gives a listener via endless choices. We've become separated from our music, in a state of aural anomie.
As he points out,
"Too much choice and too much freedom mostly just overwhelm people and cause inertia. The real freedom in listening happens when you take away some measure of choice and control — when you put a record on and then walk away from the player, letting it spin, your hand unable to skip anything. Even better if it’s an entire album — a collection of songs, put together with deliberate care, a product of a certain time and place."
I've been experiencing a similar lack of excitement in my musical exploits as of late and, like Mr. Sheff suggests, have been stuck in a state of inertia with respect to my music (listening, writing, performing).
So, as an experiment, I'm trying his approach to listening. I'm restricting myself to only a handful of albums to listen to each week. After the week, I'll classify the songs and see what kind of playlists I come up with. So here's what I'm listening to this week:
- Sun Ra's Jazz in Silhouette
- Mise en Scene's Desire's Despair
- Hank Mobely's Roll Call
- Herbie Nichols' The Art of Herbie Nichols
- Flaming Lips' A Priest Driven Ambulance