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Trees and Wildflowers

April 12, 2011

Yesterday it was pretty awesome outside, in New Jersey at least. I ended up going on an impromptu trip with my friend Max to a local park named after a woman who ran over some guy ‘accidentally.’ Because it was so suddenly warm, it felt like nature had a grand opening, and people* were all over the park enjoying it.

It’s sort of nice to just be around people enjoying spaces like that. I don’t think its a secret that the Internet and Television have sort of made these types of activities wither. I’ve started to come around since talking to Pat about the communal experience versus the solitary experience of making music  (See around minute 12 here) where I basically said that the majority of my value in music comes from the live, social, humanizing experience, and he said that’s just a part of it for him. Technology essentially created a new form of audio art – allographic music (as opposed to autographic which would be the actual sound created and not just a reproduction of it), and it has different possibilities for artistic exploitation. I don’t know if its because I am trying to justify the amount of time I spend listening to music on my own, or if I’m trying to reclaim listening to music on my iPod as enjoyment rather than study, or if I’m trying to increase the value of my radio show or music I’ve been recording, or maybe I’m just trying to be more like Pat.

Most importantly, I feel like technology is simply a tool, and its our job as people to find ways to create humanising uses for them. I have no answers at the moment, just vectors.

ANYWAYS, Max has a thing for wild flowers. I think that’s pretty cool, even though I don’t personally have a thing for wild flowers. I like it when people have interests, and I also like people who have different interests than me. It’s my defense mechanism against confirmation bias.

While he was looking down at the flowers and in his book to identify the flowers, I spent most of my time looking up, at the trees. These seem pretty much the opposite things one can look at, and there seems to be something of a parallel here to autographic and allographic music: fleeting bursts of color on the ground versus permanent structures with history. As musicians I think we spend too much time trying to imitate recordings in live settings when we should be trying to imitate live performances, when it should be obvious that wild flowers are nothing like trees.

This post was in part brought to you by a challenge to write about trees.

*the ones without seasonal allergies.

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