Friday, April 9, 2010


At one point, about seven or so years ago, feeling as though too glutted with music, I impulsively got rid of all my CDs. Most I gave away and some I threw in the garbage. There was a genuine urge for silence and stillness. (I believe this was around the same time that I also wanted to get rid of my bed mattress and sleep on a bamboo mat; something which - alas! - never materialized.) And the fact was I listened to music too much.

Now I hardly listen to it at all, which I do not take as a virtue by any means. It used to be a staple when painting or drawing; now you couldn't get me to listen to music while art-making if you bought me the stereo and the music and said that listening to it would improve my work - which it wouldn't. A silent, sober studio is a sacred haven. The exception to this being my iconography sessions where my instructor sometimes plays sacred chant.

But I find now, that whenever I actually do listen to music - unfortunately mostly on youtube (bah!) - it is a release and a boon. Indeed, without music the human race would've ceased long ago in derelict misery. I may not listen to music nearly as much as I used to, but now when I do listen, it is enjoyed ten times more.

Update: I removed all the Radiohead stuff. It's not me, and I realized I said what I really wanted to say in the above paragraphs and revisiting that which I do not listen to anymore kind of unnecessary.


Jesse said...

I did that same thing some years rid of my music. You surprise me though, with the Radiohead post. Why Radiohead? (Just curious.)

Enbrethiliel said...


Wow! I once got rid of all my 90s music, too! (It was a choice I later came to regret, when I realised I wanted to listen to some of the old bands again and CDs of their old albums proved really hard to come by. Music stores don't have much variety these days, do they?)

I never got into Radiohead, but I loved Oasis and Blur. Yet, in hindsight, I think it's good that I stopped listening to a lot of 90s Britpop. Having tried listening to it again, I realise how nihilistic so much of it was.

Paul Stilwell said...

Jesse, thanks for comenting. I found Radiohead, as far as pop music goes, searched for a kind of structure to their music, by which I mean their sound, and not so much their lyrics. I think it appealed to my developing aesthetic. The sometimes unmanly angst of their lyrics though was something I tried to ignore.

Enbrethiliel, yes, the music stores now are like dvd rental stores. Even just trying to find a moderately older film that is well known, one's chances are slim. Your realizing the nihilism of so much of that music was what caused a large part of my revlusion. I never believed in that stuff, even when it seemed I did.