Feb 21, 2019 • 4M

The Blank Canvas

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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

In this edition:

  1. A short riff on silence, complete with narration and musical accompaniment

  2. You read that right! (Press play dear friends, and engage those headphones.)

  3. A sweet recommendation.

The blank canvas

Some people feel they need to make a loud sound in order to feel beautiful. For them, the power they put into and extract from an amp is the only way to experience an honest sound.

This is sacrosanct for some people, and I'd respect it more if the sounds these people made didn't drown out all the other sounds so insistently.

We don't all have the same set of issues.

I like to bring it, loudly and through an amp with the cello. But the real work is done with my hands, and sometimes it happens at an SPL so close to silence that you wouldn't know it was happening even if you were here in the room with me.

There's a wide, wide range.

And the sound of actual silence has a power beyond anything, not to mention a beauty you can't find anywhere else.

I work hard on my sound, but I also burn a lot of bandwidth creating that silent space in which to play. It's like stretching a canvas before you paint: the silence is under everything so I take care of that part first.

And I'll tell you the truth, it's one of the hardest parts because it's a noisy world out here.

And while you can totally start something without a bed of silence, it's one way I've found to know right away if my noise is coming from an honest place.

We all end up there eventually, so might as well make friends with it.




something curated:

I’m a huge fan of the podcast “Scene On Radio”. It’s made at the Center For Documentary studies and their last two seasons have been addictive, bingeworthy masterpieces. The force is strong in host John Biewen, master of the podcast trick of making you think and feel deeply while entertaining and relating. Many dimensions! Check them out below and get hip to some beautifully gentle-voiced piercing honesty.

Seeing White


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