Tuesday, December 29, 2009

soapbox: local listening [from the draft file/2009]

I continue to battle sinus headaches that are making it almost impossible for me to enjoy my two favorite loves: reading and writing. There's so much I wanted to try to articulate in this blog-forum but am just not well enough to attend to the task. If you don't mind, I thought I'd publish several rough posts that never made it out of my draft file this past year. Please be gracious, the words are unedited, unfinished and, frequently, half-baked. But in an attempt to put something out into the world (and working my way backwards), I offer you unedited draft #4...

Go here to read the entirety of this post at Image Journal's Good Letters blog.  I was apparently roused enough to start a post with the word Soapbox in the title, but not enough to add any thoughts of my own.  Hmmmmm.....

Ideas for Listening to Music for People Who Listen to Too Much Music

Monday September 14, 2009

By Joel Hartse
If you’re like me, you like listening to music all the time. And if you’re like me, you are also now in a graduate program in language and literacy education, which means you do not have time to do anything except read incomprehensible books about sociocultural theories of language.
Perhaps you are not exactly like me. But I’ll bet you sometimes find that although you were once the type of person who needed nothing more than a dark bedroom, a pair of headphones, and a copy of Portishead’s Dummy to spend a blissfully contemplative evening soaking in your favorite pastime (listening to records), you are now the kind of person who doesn’t do that.
There could be any number of personal reasons: you have kids now, maybe, or two jobs. But I suspect things have changed for most of us simply because too much music being thrust toward us. Being a music enthusiast today feels somewhat like being an unwilling participant in a paintball battle: here they are, hundreds of brand new things, each exquisitely crafted to get your attention, coming straight at you, from the internet, the TV, other peoples’ phones, weekly newspapers, friends.
In light of all this, I offer some suggestions, some experiments in purposeful music-listening, for each of us who loves music but feels its purpose floating away from us. I hope you will consider them, maybe try one out, and report on the results. I’ll try the same after I finish this book by Bourdieu.
Audio Divina. No blasphemy intended—I just figured if you can do it with reading (lectio), why not try listening? Obviously, this is a spiritual approach to music-listening, and it might be difficult to do with, say, a Kelly Clarkson single (I am not responsible for any epiphanies that may, in fact, emerge from repeated, meditative listens to “Since U Been Gone”), but you might want to try it with a song whose mood suits the idea of diligent, spiritual contemplation – something like “Spirit Fall” by David Åhlén (recommended..... read the rest

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