Nov 7, 2019 • 3M

abandon feeling smart

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Purists may whine that the best days of music are behind us, that capital “M” music has seen its peak and is no longer relevant. But here at Play It Like It's Music we believe the opposite: not only is the act of musicmaking an essential life skill with a lineage stretching back to the beginnings of human history, but the vocation of the professional musician is more vital today than it ever has been. Once a month, join musician, songwriter and producer Trevor Exter as he drops in on working musicians from every genre.
Episode details

[…feverishly making lots of music…]

In this edition:

  1. A spontaneous jam

  2. Walking the line of learning

  3. Music, as talked about by people who know what they’re talking about

PINCH ME. This just grew in our backyard:

I'm always either learning something new, or slowly getting bored of something I think I already know.

Of course, you never really "know" anything. There's something strange under every surface. The juice is in the squeezing, but it's a drag to have to abandon feeling smart.

Every time I uncover a new angle, a new fingering, mic position or arrangement idea, there's a trickle of happy energy - immediately followed by a jolting reminder that I'm flying blind.

It's scary. And as a monomaniac introvert, the same goes for the public hustle: one email or meeting and suddenly I'm stuck calibrating a whole lot of new energy. 5 minutes later I’m all like, "where was I?"

(An entrepreneurial friend once told me that the ‘secret’ for work success is to be sexually attracted to rejection.)

But this is the trip. We all find our own mix. Musicians have had our share of upheaval around work, life and work/life balance. The interview below helps shed a lot of light. Check it out:

“…for most of history, music was a kind of cloud storage for societies…”

As a lover of language, music and truth, I found this conversation enthralling. It’s simultaneously deep and high-level:

Tyler Cowen (love him or hate him) knows a lot of stuff, and he is constantly learning more. He asks some amazing questions of the incomparable Ted Gioia, who’s also got a new book out.

Some things they touched on:

  • How RCA was the Apple Computer of its day

  • Noise in restaurants

  • The history of cool

  • Disrupting the Pythagorean paradigm in music (getting away from mathematics and back towards sound)

  • Music’s roots in fertility rituals

  • Why the best music of today is under the radar

Give it a shot: Conversations with Tyler: Ted Gioia

Big love to your ears.


ps: Thanks again to those who reached out during/following the fires last week. We’re sound.

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