What We Listen To. . .
Does one really listen to anything new? Are there new musical creations? The answer to both is most likely yes. A more nuanced answer, however, is that it is complicated.
I am not pointing here to what artists create. I am not pointing to the creative process. This is not a rant about sampling. I am not pondering here who is actually responsible for Stairway to Heaven or Blurred Lines. Not interested in either here, nor any other song currently being disputed in court.
We routinely hear of this artist being sued by that artist because the former stole some element of some song from the later, and they used it in one of their tunes. That and the fact that the resulting song typically made some amazing cash for those being accused, and those accusing the accused now wants a piece of that.
Otherwise we would not care that one artist lifted something from another song. It happens all the time is my feeling. Unless some money is involved, such things are simply described as “inspiration”. In Jeff Beck’s first encounter with Hendrix, Hendrix breaks the ice acknowledging that he ‘borrowed’ something from Beck’s repertoire. (Borrowed is my term. . .) Beck on several occasions can be heard lamenting how Frampton raped the talkbox. I type this as Youtube plays a Lady Gaga tune right after Madonna’s new one.
I am not worrying bout such here. I am simply looking at my own habits. I do not perform. I do not play. I listen. And I try to listen to new stuff. I try to explore and check out new shit.
Laurent Stern’s words haunt me though. Laurent Stern, a Professor of Philosophy who tried to introduce 19th Century philosophy to me back in 1990? Something like that. Had me do a paper on Frege and the grasping of concepts. I remember him for several things. The above was one of those points. Another was regarding monkeys. They see themselves in an image.
I am not far from that. I hear what I know in the tunes I listen to, new or old. I can only acknowledge and recognize what I know. So for me to acknowledge something new requires I recognize something old. Typically. I imagine something that is totally new, totally unknown, and I have at first nothing to say. I just don’t know what to do with it. That actually often happens. Me being speechless. Will take me days on occasion.
Other times, I am listening to something and I hear another tune in my head. I am like, where did that come from? What is that snippet I just heard? Did I hear it? Can it be replicated? Will I hear it again? Or is it like Scrooge with his broth? I, however, welcome such things, such references, such allusions to others. Scrooge did not welcome his former partner. It is perhaps something that me and the artists I am listening to share. Maybe?
So many speculations over nothing. This piece was a simple two minute post. I was thinking it has been awhile since I have offered up a post in the “Red Eye” space. . . those things I throw up in an instant often times with red eyes and needing sleep. That was the thought, the intent.
It was. Just offering up two songs and not really detailing why they were put together. I don’t know myself. I need a better understanding of music. For now though I leave you with the two tunes. I honestly still ponder if I have the right tune. I thought at first it was UFO. Damn.