What Music Means to Me. What Music Means to You…
Mar 07, 2023
I hope you’re doing well! I’m sitting on a plane, headed back to Montreal after spending a few days in London for a music conference! Usually, music conferences are a mix of meeting people and watching young artists perform in the hopes of convincing some so-called music professionals to either book them or work on their recorded music. This one is slightly different since there were only a very few artists performing. It really is only about the business; how many streams you have on Spotify, how many tickets you sell, and how influential you are on TikTok. Very deep stuff here…!
Being a musician myself and being part of such a vibrant, thoughtful, and soulful musical project, music, art, lyrics and the journey toward a finished recorded project has never been and will never be about those ridiculous and worthless metrics, but about something way above and beyond our own selves.
I’m listening to Blackened Cities from Melanie De Biasio, a 25-minute pure delight of jazzy, groovy, melodic song which always carries me away, especially when I’m on fire — like right now — for a subject that passionates me a lot, a question I always ask those fellow music professionals and which I’ll be asking you later on; “What does music mean to you? What place does music occupy in your life?” Don’t answer me now! Let’s reach the end of this first, please! :)
There is a fun thing around music lovers or professionals, and it is how we can debate for hours about how good, great, important, and life-changing a song, an album, or a live show can be for us personally. This sort of powerful moment where everything around us simply stops existing, and all of a sudden, our own existence and passage down here has a meaning, or has been understood and shared by someone in such a powerful way, that we suddenly can’t help it but allow such work to guide us on a different journey or help us understand our actual journey better every time we press play or stand in the crowd while they now express themselves on stage. What a powerful and very complex thing to explain to someone else.
When I was in high school, this became my favorite sport; music debates! Sort of “Tell me what you’re listening to, and I’ll tell you what kind of person you are.” No doubt all my friends were punk or hip-hop music listeners!
Well, a music conference is kind of the same. The difference is that some are trying to sell music/artists, and others are hoping to buy music/artists. And this is what I ended up doing in London, from 10am to 2am for four days! Imagine that! Fun game! How is it possible to argue/convince people about music? Let’s make this question even harder: How do you do this while being an active part of the musical project? People will tell me very cruel things sometimes regarding what we do music-wise — don’t ask, there’s no point in sharing this here! It’s part of what I do, even if it doesn’t make any sense most of the time!
Before going to this music conference, as I shared with you in last week’s Club Missive, I decided to start reading the book Alex and I decided to read, each on our side during his convalescence, in order to share about how this group of artists called The Elephant 6 will move and inspire us. Well, I literally fell in love with the book from page 2 onward! The introduction from the author is simply mesmerizing and exactly what I needed to read prior to reaching London and its music professionals.
I’ll share what the author says about the place that music, albums, and concerts have in our lives, and how no one can argue this, even understand this, and I’d like to know your thoughts and opinions on this. It will then be great to hear what Alex has to say about it all a little later on! Let’s simply have some nice fun, and see how deep and inspiring this can go, as I’m sure that music occupies one of the highest shelves available in your life!
To me, the unarguable value of music and the first question that always comes to my mind when I see a new act on stage or hear a new track for the first time is always; Is it art? A very debatable question, of course, but the most valuable to me nonetheless. The author of the book states the same thing followed by this:
“Everybody listens to music, and so everybody has opinions about music, and we mostly consume it on such a visceral level that words tend to be insufficient for expressing those opinions. Our appreciation can be reflexive and instantaneous, or it can be cultivated over years of listening, but rarely is it rational.”
I really loved this. He then compares it to how we would describe being in love with someone with precise and rational words:
“Art is about experimenting. Art endures not when it shows instead of telling, but rather when it shows what could not otherwise be told.” (I really loved this as well.) “It communicates what only it can, such that we can’t really explain what we just experienced, and the only meaningful thing you can say about it is: go check it out for yourself.”
So, since I just spent almost a week and countless hours sharing, debating, and listening to what others had to say about art and music, I would simply love to hear what you have to say about it, about the place music occupies in your daily lives. There are no good or bad answers, but only room for answers. Some music makes me cry, some music makes me laugh, some music makes me want to dance, some music makes me want to change the world, and some music inspires me to become a better person! I’m simply curious and thrilled to start this kind of open conversation with you all as well!
I’ll be traveling down to New York City and Austin (Texas) for the next two weeks for two more music conferences. Those will be more around artists performing rather than meetings. Should be interesting! Well, hopefully! Our conversations, I’m sure, will keep me grounded and aligned toward what matters the most in art and music, and this is us, the people, and how we can share and build around what moves us and why it moves us, in order for it to inspire and move others!
I made a playlist with 10 songs that have been greatly influential to me — 10 songs that made me! I’m inviting you to do the same if you want to!
Let’s be great to one another!
Your Host and Friend,