What Are You Listening To?

listening to records

Yesterday, I used a quote from Stephen King’s On Writing in my post.  If you know me, you know I love that book.  I’ve been re-reading some parts of it, so today I’m going to quote him again.  Twice.

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King

I remember going to a singer’s house a few years ago for a rehearsal and noticing that she had only about 15 CDs in her collection.  This was before the days of uploading your collection to your computer, so it really was her entire collection.  It was shocking to me.

How can you make music if you don’t listen to music?

Read this next quote, but swap the word read for listen...

“So we read to experience the mediocre and the outright rotten; such experience helps us to recognize those things when they begin to creep into our own work, and to steer clear of them.  We also read in order to measure ourselves against the good and the great, to get a sense of all that can be done. And we read in order to experience different styles.” -Stephen King

Do you listen to as much as you can? Or do you listen to the stuff you’ve heard before – the stuff you know that you like?  Do you listen to mediocre music, just as a warning of what not to do?

My current listening:

Brad Mehldau – Highway Rider

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What are you listening to?

(photo by Ali Eisner)

One Response to What Are You Listening To?

  1. joshua says:

    Nice post. I’m a big fan of doing what I think of as “palette cleaning” listening. Every couple weeks I’ll try to get a few different albums I’ve never heard or ideally never heard of, and spend some time with them. I find if I don’t do this I just end up listening to the same things all the time, ie: whatever is on my iphone. Putting new sounds into my head helps keep my imagination sharp which is just as important to me as having crazy chops. I don’t have crazy chops though, so maybe that means it’s more important? Anyway. Excited to hear that Mehldau record! Largo is one of my favorites, and I’m looking forward to hearing the Jon Brion production on this too.

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