Busyness: A generation's musical loss
In my consulting career, one of the biggest challenges is to get senior management to PAY ATTENTON. People have always been busy but the increasing rate of technological disruption coupled with down-sizing and other management fads have dramatically reduced most peoples ability to slow down and take the time to really consider the implications of the decisions they are making and to spend time really getting to understand what is going on. In the field of project management where I specialise, the impact of, what is often called CPA or Continuous Partial Attention is horrific - in costs, waste and negative impact on people. Trends such as Mindfulness may help but the pace of change is relentless.
In the March 2017 edition of Guitar Player there is a great article by Michael Molenda about how a generation of young people are losing interest in taking the time to learn and master guitar. He talks about how Millenials react in disbelief to him describing spending hours sitting in front of speakers tranfixed by the latest Hendrix or Miles Davis album. I can remember the utter amazement I felt when I put The Inner Mounting Flame by the awesome Marhavishnu Orchestra and I heard for the first time "Meeting of the Spirits". It was simultanously jaw-dropping, inspiring and terrifying (as a musician). Like many of my generation, hours spent with my head between speakers were beyond special. They opened up new vistas and, in one occasion, saved me (thanks Bill Connors).
So, like Michael Molenda, I feel sad that we're all so busy that we cannot spare the time to listen to a whole album in a quiet space. My CD Baby accounts show that while hundreds of my songs have been downloaded (thanks to those folks), only a few albums have in their entirity have been downloaded. I'll continue to write and create albums .. it's what I do and maybe one day, someone won't be so overloaded and too busy ....breathe and take some time to listen and really enjoy how a group of songs work together to paint a bigger picture. It beats the hell out of listening on a train, bus or while walking heads down to get somewhere or nowhere.