TRYING TO RESTORe THE VALUE OF SOCIETY’S FAVORITE ART FORM
My plan with this website is to recommend an album or two that corresponds to the theme of each essay. Readers can use these examples to expand their musical horizons and try out the processes discussed.
This week, I recommend:
Morning Phase by Beck
I've chosen this album to kick things off because it has a really cool fusion of popular and art music qualities (notice I very carefully avoid the term "classical music," more on that later). While I don't think you will get a very high quality audio experience via this method, the entire album is available streaming on Spotify (www.spotify.com), so you can try it out without an extensive financial commitment. If you want a higher quality streaming experience, the album is also available in full resolution on Tidal (listen.tidal.com). If you are once of those people who appreciates material culture and needs to have something in your hands, Amazon has the CD, or for the hipsters among you, the vinyl pressing is also available (www.amazon.com). And finally, the high-resolution download version available on HD Tracks (http://www.hdtracks.com) sounds excellent as well. I'll talk more about formatting at a later date, but FYI, we downloaded Morning Phase from HD Tracks.
So, what should come of this? I'd like to see people actively listening to the album, giving it some thought, and discussing it in the comments. Tell me what you liked or didn't and, most importantly, why. Which songs particularly stood out to you? What musical elements stood out to you the most? How did the process of active listening work for you? Were you fidgety, or did you allow yourself to become engrossed in the process? Let's see if we can get a conversation based on active listening going! Take the time to appreciate the music!
Molly M. Breckling holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her areas of research interest are the songs of Gustav Mahler, popular music, and music history pedagogy. Her goal is to help others listen to music more actively and to develop a greater appreciation for the music that surrounds us every day.