Pay MAJOR Attention to the Person Behind the Curtain
The ILLUSION Episodes Part 4
MUSIC is not a GENRE - Season 2 Episode #27
ALL ABOUT IT
There are two kinds of people in this world...
Okay there are way more than two kinds of people - like, for example, people who don’t care about any of this at all. But let’s forget about them and be reductionist just for fun.
As I was saying, there are two kinds of people in this world: those whose enjoyment of a trick is spoiled when they find out how it’s done, and those who still love the show no matter what they know.
If you’ve followed my thread up to this point, you know that I’ve been using multiple points of entry to make the argument that all music (and all art in general) is somehow an illusion. Since this is the fourth and final episode in my ILLUSION series, it’s the perfect time to get to the main point, which is that for all true music lovers - and really most of everyone else - IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Knowing or not knowing how something is created makes no difference to someone who loves the music. In fact, I’d argue that KNOWING makes the listener enjoy it MORE. Having some idea - or even getting a detailed analysis of - how a musical work is put together, increases appreciation because you see how much effort and craft and thought and inspiration go into its creation, and how even an end result that seems exceedingly simple contains dozens or hundreds of decisions and skills, some of which even the creator is unconscious of.
When I listen to a song, the more I relate to it the more I want to know how it came to be - from the reason for its inception to why it sounds like it does, to what the lyrics connect to, to the underlying chord progression, to how a certain passage is played or sung. The more I know, the more into it I get. And when I pull back and just listen for pleasure again, I can still feel it and be carried away by it. I’d say I’m MORE INSIDE it than if I didn’t know as much.
No amount of learning and discovering, and overall tipping the scales that much more from ignorance to knowledge, is going to spoil the fun. It doesn’t take away the emotional or psychological impact. It deepens it. It makes the music stick with you longer, maybe even forever, and colors your enjoyment of and connection to every other type of music related to it. Which ultimately is EVERYTHING.
We get a lot of information thrown at us from birth to death. Some central and vital. Some peripheral and optional. Some accurate and some ... um ... way less than fucking accurate. Some we want and thrive on. Some we push away and are scared of. Hell, we are still in what’s called the Information Age! Which just means that the things we can know can be found easier and faster than ever before.
We all filter this information in different ways and for a multitude of reasons. Just like with music, we choose to listen more to what draws us in the most, and maybe should explore things we hear that sound foreign or less comfortable a wee touch more.
Whether we explore beyond our comfort zones or not, there’s one thing we should ALL do more of: SEEK OUT KNOWLEDGE. FIND THE TRUTH. DIG DEEPER. However it’s phrased, it means not settling for a surface understanding of anything we have any interest in, or taking one person’s or source’s word foe ANYTHING.
Whatever it is we listen to or believe in or think we know about art or culture or politics or society or any of the issues affecting us or others or the whole world, whether we choose any of that or happen upon in peripherally, knowing more about it is not going to spoil it. It’s not going to make things worse or make us weaker or turn us into someone we’re not. Nope! It’s going to increase not just our understanding of those things, but also our appreciation of and CONNECTION TO them. And to the people they affect.
So perk behind the curtain. Find out how things work, how things come to be. And you’ll find that when the illusion falls away, what’s left is more magical than you could have possibly imagined.