I’ve been looking at a computer screen all day. The sound I’m hearing come out of my studio monitors feels more like regurgitated information than it does art and I can’t tell if I hate it or it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. This. This is every day for me at 4pm. So, I go for my regularly scheduled run at the 4pm mark. I’ve noticed during this time as I pass other runners, everyone else has earbuds in and is listening to something. But for me, I like to listen to wind. I like the sound of wind passing over my ears because I don’t have to think about it. It feels like a mind reset and I love it.
Well, like I do with a lot of things in my life — I went extreme with a good thing. I stopped listening to music because I was always making it. This just made sense to me and I thought that it was what my mind wanted. I’ve talked with other creatives that do the same kind of thing. We shut off the outside world of art, music, or whatever so that we’re not influenced by it or tempted to make it our own. I still think there’s something good about that way of thinking from time to time, but that’s not why I wasn’t listening to music. I was tired of it. I was just tired. My ears were fried. So, a long time goes by and I’m making music every day and that’s about as far as my relationship with it goes. The results were good and fine, but it felt weird to me that I pretty much only ever listened to music I was involved in making.
My wife and I decided to redo our living room and finally put this old record console that our tv had been sitting on to proper use. So, I mounted the TV on the wall, replaced the turntable and hooked everything up to these old speakers in the console. We went shopping for some records and voila — we were officially entered into the national hipster registry. Well, we started listening to these records and reading magazines instead of watching Netflix — we needed a break from screens. I highly recommend it. Before I knew it, I was enjoying music again. Even after a long day of working on music, there was something refreshing about listening to it in a not so hi-fi way, in a totally different environment than my studio, and for the fun of it. Now, I’m addicted to it. I love searching for vinyl, it’s really exciting. I love supporting the musical world that I’m a part of. I love talking about music with my wife. Most of all, I think art is important and necessary for me to make, but it’s also important for me to enjoy. For a lot of us, we’re both creators and observers. If you stop looking and listening to art as an artist, you could be having a one way conversation with yourself. If you’re feeling stuck or tired, have hope. Try switching up your environment and opening yourself up to the art being made around you.