I don’t listen to much music. Well, not anymore. I have to start off by letting you know that I do understand the depth that music can entail — I appreciate it as an art. Unfortunately, it’s an art I don’t have time for. In the twenty-first century, the world is overflowing with art. We have music, films, television, advertisement, videogames, board games, books, sculptures, paintings, drawings, dances, sports — by the beard of Zeus I could go on forever. No one can consume everything. Except, maybe the moon from Majora’s Mask.
To make matters worse, I’m a staunch believer in perpetual amelioration. I need to learn, constantly, and endlessly. I hardly ever focus on anything that won’t strengthen my familiarity with a subject, or, teach me something new entirely. There is only so much time in a day that I spend with headphones in my ears. Most of my free time is spent reading articles, playing videogames, or watching movies. Now you should know I’m a slow reader, and I try to fully immerse myself into the world of every videogame I play. Where’s the time for books? Books don’t fit in with my lifestyle, because, as mentioned before, I’m a slow reader — so I listen to audiobooks for the most part. Anytime I don’t spend listening to audiobooks, I fill with podcasts, or audio-documentaries.
I still listen to music every so often — about once a week really. Even then it’s maybe four songs in row, and only because I’d like something nice stuck in my head before I go to work. My middle-school self would simply sit in his room and listen to the latest metal or punk artist’s album for hours on end. In high-school, I would listen to music while commuting and pick up new songs from friends. But when I got into university I just… stopped. Not exactly sure why, but for me, music doesn’t serve as much of purpose anymore. I still love music in films, and videogames — it can really set and impose atmosphere. However I can’t keep up with new music, and I don’t know even know what to do when actually listening to music.
That’s another thing, I’m a ridiculous multitasker when I’m not playing videogames. If I’m listening to something, it’s an accompaniment to a more tangible task. For instance, if I’m eating, I’m either listening to a podcast, or watching something. If I’m gardening, I’m most likely listening to an audiobook. My lifestyle — and I’d like to emphasize my — doesn’t hold listening to music as a productive activity. Unless you’re completely submerged in music theory, writing, or integrating it into another art, then I don’t see how it benefits anything. I guess it can also be cathartic, but again, I have other means of catharsis, namely exercising and writing.
I love music, but I can’t just listen to it. I need to be productive, and manage as many of my interests as efficiently as possible. That means tying podcasts and documentaries to my physically demanding tasks (I’m using ‘physically demanding’ in the most liberal sense possible). For that reason, I always feel like I’m losing something when it comes to merely listening to music — like I’m missing an opportunity to learn something new, or hear an opinion I don’t share. As said before, I know there’s a lot that can be learnt from listening to music, especially if you’re well versed on the topic. But I’m not. I wasn’t very interested in music classes in middle-school, and I never took them in high-school. I could learn from scratch today, though without an interest, I can’t build a foundation to appreciate all the work that goes into the art.