Feb. 24, 2021

Listening to Music

Listening to Music

In this episode, Ciyadh discusses listening to music and how we can all build deeper relationships with the music that we love.

Show Notes:
Evelyn Glennie: How Do We Listen When We’re Unable to Hear? NPR Article

Spotify Playlist:
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Listening to Music

[00:00:00] Hello everyone. And welcome to this episode of musically cogitating, a podcast about the relevance. And importance of living in contemporary music of all kinds and about how that music impacts our everyday lives. I of course am your host siyad Wells. Thank you so much for joining me here today, as always with any of these episodes, any important and relevant links will be in the show notes on your podcast.

[00:00:56] Catcher. If you are enjoying this show, please [00:01:00] subscribe and share it with a friend. If you didn't hear from last week's episode, there is now a discord. Server for this podcast. And discord is a community building messaging platform that we can all use to interact with each other in between all the episodes.

[00:01:21] So there will be a place for us to discuss this episode, which will be about listening to music. There is a separate channel in there about the book club and just about other things. So, if you would like to join, of course, be linked in the show notes. And it's also linked in the podcasts Instagram page.

[00:01:44] So it's definitely there please join. It's been a lot of fun so far, and I can't wait for more people to, to be there. And for us to be able to connect and share and talk about music, because what else would we want to talk about? [00:02:00] Today I wanted to. Talk about music, which is, which is probably not as surprising because the name of this show is musically cogitating.

[00:02:11] And originally my idea was to do a sort of how to guide about listening. To music. How do you, how do you listen to music? How do you make it better? How do you get more out of that experience? And as I was going through and really putting down my thoughts, I was just like, well, I'm just going to talk about music and maybe I'll give some tips.

[00:02:37] I'll share about my relationship to music and music, listening and, and consumption and all that. And we'll just see how it goes. So that is kind of what I'm planning to talk about. Of course, I'm going to say a little bit about why I think it's important to listen to music and how we can encourage more [00:03:00] people to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with music and listening to music.

[00:03:05] Because I think that's really important. I wish I could remember. My earliest memory of listening to music, because that would be so cool. I think I remember some of my earlier performing experiences, but I don't necessarily remember the first time I ever heard a song, although that would be so cool. But I do remember one of the first CDs that I ever received as a gift, which was writing on the walls by destiny, Sheldon.

[00:03:37] Yes, I do still have that. CD I have multiple copies and the album is, is so good. Music is, is amazing. And we all know that. I mean, I have a whole podcast, there are hundreds and there thousands of podcasts dedicated to music and. I was talking to someone [00:04:00] and they were asking me, you know, how do you know when you're listening to music and you really love a song.

[00:04:07] And I was thinking that there are, there are these moments when I'm listening to something and I'm, I'm really connected to it. I'm really drawn to it. It can have words. It might not have words, but it's just, it's so moving. And I know when I like a song, when it, when it overcomes. Meek overcomes all of my being my senses.

[00:04:30] And sometimes I'm almost on the verge of tears, happy tears, because the music is just so incredibly good. I don't often cry. In general and often cry when I'm listening to music either, but it's just, it's just like, it just pushes you to a different place. It puts you on the verge, but in a really, really good way.

[00:04:54] And I also know when I found something that I really like to listen to because I'll repeat it no [00:05:00] less than five times. Now, anyone who listens to music with me, and he knows me really well knows that if I'm around and we're listening to music, we do not do repeats and we do not skip songs. And this is a Hill that I will die on.

[00:05:17] I don't ever skip a repeat unless I really love the song. If we're listening to an album, we listened to it all the way through, except for, of course, when the song is really, really good, but I don't think that happens as, as often. Really it's. I started listening to the album. We listened to it all the way through.

[00:05:36] Most of the reason that I don't like to skip and repeat is because I often try to take in and entire album as a complete work. And for me, skipping around, doesn't allow. For me to hear and understand the story in the way that I want it to in the way that the artists probably and tinted for [00:06:00] us to do.

[00:06:01] And you know, you know what I want to know, I want to know who thought that shuffle was a good thing. And why is shuffle always the default on so mainstream services who, who thought that was okay? No, I don't want shuffle to be the default on my music player, no matter where I'm listening to it. No matter if I'm listening to it on a CD or a cassette, which you catch a foreign concept, but a vinyl, but especially with streaming, I don't want that to be my default.

[00:06:27] I want you. To be in the order that it came to me in artists. Do you put effort into ordering the songs and the tracks and believe it or not? I try my best to really honor that intention when I'm listening to music. So that's why, you know, I listened to it all the way through. A few of my other, uh, I think weird music tendencies you might say is that I, I am one of those people who still [00:07:00] has lots of CDs, definitely over a hundred, probably way more than that.

[00:07:05] Uh, I have quite a bit of vinyl I have, cause that player. I have, let's see, two, five discs, CD changers in the house, several sets of headphones, bookshelf speakers. And I'm also in the market for an MP3 player of some kind that plays lossless music files. Yes, I do have an iPhone and yes I can in Treme and you play music on it, but I don't want something that's a little bit better quality, uh, because.

[00:07:33] The quality sometimes is important to me, depending on what I'm listening to and what I want to get out of it. So that's just those, just some of the kind of tendencies or my, my oddities that I have when it comes to music. And there is so much music to be explored and understood in the world. And again, there's that trying to explain the feeling [00:08:00] to, to put words to it and.

[00:08:03] I can't because it's so good. And of course, this led me to want to ask myself. And, and you all as well, because I kind of pulled some people on Instagram, um, which I'll I'll do for a lot of the episodes. You know, you can I'll, uh, put up a feature title or a feature podcasts I'm writing, and I want these to be helpful and entertaining and fun to listen to you.

[00:08:28] And so I asked her for feedback and questions. And it led me to ask, you know, how do you listen to music and are, are there right or wrong ways? Are there good or bad ways? Of course, I have my kind of set ways of listening and consuming, but that might not be the way that is best for you. That might not be good for you.

[00:08:46] That might be a terrible way for you. And, and I want to acknowledge that we all have these differences. I think maybe there are things that we can do to, to be better listeners to, to better honor the [00:09:00] intention of what the artists put out and I'll go over some of those, those thoughts as well when it comes to listening in general though, I don't think there's always a set of rules.

[00:09:11] There may be some suggestions, ways that we can be more active in our consumption. For instance, and there in my mind are a few levels of engagement when listening to music. Lots of times the active listening to music or anything else. For instance, like this podcast is, is almost a very passive act, right?

[00:09:37] We, we do while we're doing something else, perhaps the dishes or we're driving in the car or we're folding laundry, or we're working. I listened to a lot of podcasts. Because of course I love podcasts and I do a lot of that listening while I'm doing it. No, the things rarely have. I don't think, I don't know that I've ever really used it sat down and actively listened to a podcast while I wasn't [00:10:00] doing anything else, which is something I should do considering I make podcasts, but that's a nother thing for a another time.

[00:10:11] You might even, you know, You probably do the same thing though with TV shows or with other types of media, you are doing something else and you are multitasking. So I think that is kind of a passive consumption. It's not really your, your main. Focus. And I'm not saying that in any way, it is bad to passively.

[00:10:36] Listen to them. I think it's totally fine. And we get what we get and I'm also who listens to podcasts. I know very strange, but I'll listen to the same podcast episodes a lot if I really enjoy them. And so I'm not worried about. Making sure. I catch everything the first time, you know, because I know that if I really enjoyed it, I'll probably listen to it again.

[00:10:56] It's a point. And so there's no real rush for me to get there. [00:11:00] But of course the opposite of what I think is of passive listening would be active listening. And that is the listening that we do when nothing else is, is happening. When we have our headphones on, when we're not walking, when we're not talking, when no one's near us.

[00:11:17] And we're just listening. And this listening, I think is really, really intentional. It's the listening that we do when we're trying to, to find something, when we are maybe searching for something, it's what you have decided that you were going to do. Active listening is thoughtful. And not that, of course, like I said, not that passive listening, isn't thoughtful, but there is some thing there's something a little bit.

[00:11:45] Special, if you will, about the active listening. It's that, that moment when the song comes into your ear, when it comes into your heart and nothing else around you matters because you are so [00:12:00] consumed and connected to that song, and you want to, you want to hear it. You want to, you want to make it come to you over and over and over again, of course, want to acknowledge that.

[00:12:13] The way that many people consume music and maybe this podcast and other forms of, of media is not through listening. I consume most music through listening, and that is my lived experience. But I want to acknowledge that I know that that is not a case for everyone. And I'll link a few things below in the show notes to you, how people who maybe are part of the deaf and hard of hearing community, who.

[00:12:42] Aren't able to listen to music, but they are still able to consume music. Now I say all this to say, like, Again, there isn't a right or wrong or good or bad way to listen. Listening is listening. Consuming is consuming. Understanding is understanding. [00:13:00] I do think there are a few ways maybe for us to get more out of the music that we're listening to.

[00:13:06] Maybe for us to have a more meaningful, thoughtful, and intentional experiences. And I think there are two ways to do that. The first way is to spend more time listening to music. It can be the exact same music over and over and over having the exact same song or whatever, but just spend time with the music, get to know the music, read the liner notes, or use an app like music smart to read and get that.

[00:13:32] The metadata information about each of the tracks. If you're streaming learn the influence of the music, read reviews of the music, whatever you do, you just spend more time with the music. And I'll be honest that even as a musician, there are times when it is difficult to me, for me to listen to a lot of music, because let's say on an average day, I've practiced.

[00:13:56] Several hours I've maybe had a rehearsal or [00:14:00] whatever, I'm music out, you know, I don't want to listen to anything. I don't want to critique anything. Um, and not that when I'm listening, I'm listening to critique, but it's just, I don't want to listen to music, but I'm really, really working on that because there is so much, there's so much music in the world and I want, I want to hear it.

[00:14:21] You know, there would be times when I was living at music school where I would go to concert nearly every day. And so that was how I was consuming a lot of music. And maybe that's, that's not really the case right now. So I'm looking for ways to continue to really be intentional and to really supplement that way of consuming music.

[00:14:43] I don't think I'm alone in this as a musician either. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I think we are. Listen to you or consume music in ways that work for us, but ultimately spending more time with music is a way for us to tap deeper [00:15:00] connection and to really get more out of the experience, because I don't ever think that listening to music and spending time is a waste of time.

[00:15:11] I think we get so much out of that experience and I think it's really, really important. The second thing you can do is to, like I said, actively listen. And by that, I mean, try to listen without any sort of interruptions or distractions, if you can. I understand that this is really hard because our lives have many things going on in them.

[00:15:33] And while music and in an art are really important, so are other things. And sometimes we do have to prioritize. Maybe it's not. Practical for you to spend 45 minutes listening to an album without doing something else. And again, I totally understand that, but maybe it is a little bit more practical for you to spend maybe five minutes listening to you.

[00:15:57] Just a part of that album. Just, just taking that time for [00:16:00] you to sit and think into. B with some music. And again, when we're listening actively, it could be something that we've heard before, or maybe not. It can be that one song that we love over and over. But the thing about this is that we're listening with intention.

[00:16:17] We listen mate, maybe to see something out new, um, something maybe we've heard or not, but it's about. It's about that intention. It's about letting it overcome you. It's about being so involved and almost sucked in that it is, is everything. And it is just consuming. Unit is coming to you. I wanted to also kind of briefly talk about our relationships to music.

[00:16:47] We can each, and if we want to have a really deep relationship with some type of music, There are so many types of music in the world in [00:17:00] so many different types of music makers. You know, one thing that we never say is that there are too many albums in the world, you know, no one ever says there are too many playlists on Spotify because there, there is room there there's, there's infinite room for us to make music for us to spend time.

[00:17:21] With the music for us to be music makers. And we have the ability to create these relationships with music and these relationships with ourselves because of how we engage and because of how we listen to it. I think in our society and in our culture, we spend a lot of time demonizing music for the con demonizing people for the kinds of music that they like to listen to for instance, and this is a really, really popular one that I see and notice.

[00:17:51] Is if someone says they like rap music, for instance, we, as a society have automatically labeled them as being a certain kind of [00:18:00] person or assuming that they think certain types of things. When in actuality, all they do is, is really like the music because they like it. And we, as his people, we need to honor that people like the things that they like and it's okay that you don't like him.

[00:18:17] But that doesn't mean that you get to think any more or any less of a person because of the music that they do. Like we should celebrate those relationships and those connections that each of us has with music and with art. And what do you gain from the negative reaction that you give people? When they say they're like a certain type of music.

[00:18:38] They don't love the same type of music as you do. And that's okay. So who does that really help? The impact that music can have on our lives is far greater and more important than what any of us think. So if that has happened to you, like it has happened to me many time. I say don't worry about it because it's not about them.

[00:18:56] It's not about what they think it's about you and about the music that [00:19:00] you love. And it's about. Continuing for you to honor that intention to grow that relationship, to have that meaning with that music. So all in all this started as a how to guide to listen to music. But I think it's more about building a deeper relationship with the music that you love.

[00:19:23] It is about continuing to engage again and again and again, with music, um, more broadly, I don't know if there will ever be, uh, an ultimate how to engage or how to listen. To music, although I'm sure my opinions will change over time. And there'll be an episode about that when it does. But I think that there is there's commentary on this because listening to music is it's important and it's so it's everywhere.

[00:19:56] I mean, we go to the restaurants, we listen to music, we go to the, [00:20:00] we do it in our car. We go in target for instance, It's everywhere. And I think there, there's a reason that it's there and it's not just to distract people so that they spend more money. It really is the soundtrack to our lives, not to be a tattoo, many puns in here.

[00:20:18] Um, but it's a, it's a really beautiful thing and we deserve to give it more and we deserve to give ourselves more from, from that relationship. Since the show is about music. I of course wanted to recommend something for you to listen to you today in bug, if you will. And this week's recommendation is not.

[00:20:40] Yes, because we use recommendation is George Lewis is the recumbent trilogy. It is a really fascinating album. It came out probably two or so weeks ago and I've really enjoyed it so far. I've only done one. Passive listen [00:21:00] through to it. So I need to really sit down and, and get deeper into it, but it's, it's really good.

[00:21:05] And of course, it'll be in the Spotify playlist. That's in the show notes. Don't forget to follow the podcast on social media and on the podcast website, musically cogitating.com. There is a newsletter which you can subscribe to you where you'll receive regular updates and bonus content about the show.

[00:21:24] If you are listening to the show on Apple podcasts, please, please, please. Give us a rating and review as it helps me to make the show better. Of course you can always send me an email and my DMS are open on Instagram, Twitter, and all of that. So you have something that you want to say. You have something that you want me to cover.

[00:21:43] You just want to say hi, get to know me. I want to get to know you. Leave me a message. Leave me a review. You can also support the show by buying me a coffee or a book using the buy me copy or support the show link in the show notes. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you to those of [00:22:00] you who have donated so far.

[00:22:03] It it's really awesome. And I'm really grateful for the support that you have shown me. So thank you. That's all I have for you today. We'll be back in two weeks with the final episode in the first musically cogitating book club series. So look forward to that and we will talk to each other again until then.

[00:22:27] Bye. Bye .