Monday, September 19, 2011

“MP3 of the week”

“...I haven't bought an album in years...”

I have a friend who loves to buy albums. He didn't tell me why, and I never thought to ask – but I recently bought the Rolling Stones Album, Let it Bleed – and it brought back that dialog I had with him.

I'm gonna tell you that I bought the album via Itunes (and I happen to love Itunes). I love how fast the downloads are; that there is a popularity bar; top charts; ping; genius bar, and that you can buy only one song... hmmm – one song? Does this means that I do not have to buy an entire album?

GREAT JOY! Now I can listen to my favorite music, and not waste money on that extra crap! Ha!

This is how my mind works sometimes, and I am sure other people have thought the exact same thing. “let's get to the good stuff already!”.

I have no problem thinking this way. I love going straight for the things that I like most, and I love having things on demand and ready to go.

So why did I buy this album?

OK, well, I was listening to a radio broadcast that was aired about 9 years ago in London. They started to play Monkey Man – but because it was edited, I only heard 3 seconds of the beginning and 5 seconds of the end. I thought, “this sounds great! I have to get this song”. I went to Itunes and bought the album... by accident. I didn't feel like going through the process of having to try to get my money back. So I said, “I might as well listen to what's on this thing.”

well... MY MIND WAS BLOWN! What an awesome experience from beginning to end! I completely forgot how amazing it is to just sit back and listen to an album for an hour. It made me think about how I used to listen to music pre iPod, Mp3 and etc.

It also made me think about how people are listening to music now; especially classical music. The majority of people aren't being exposed to classical music by going to the concert halls. They get it via movies, TV commercials and so forth. But what are those? They're snippets; fragments of a whole; Interpretations and remixes. But, honestly, I do find myself favoring specific movements of a piece. I still haven't listened beyond the first movement of Beethoven's 5th, which people of my ilk would frown upon.

So where are we now?

Who knows? But, the experiences...? We are in total control of our own experiences. We can fast-forward, pause and rewind. We can skip the advertisement and jump to the boxing match. We can listen to the Historia der Auferstehung Jesu Christi on youtube; rip an audio file off a video; download via torrent, and do it all from a 13'' laptop. Technology has given us the power to do whatever the hell we want! -- and If we are at this stage now, what's next? What more can we ask for? What do we have? What don't we have? Who will buy the Album, and who will by the single.

I'm one in million x's.

Thank You for reading,

Kwaumane Brown

Longy School of Music
UD in Composition ('12)

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