Relationships with music

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The human relationship with music is an interesting one. For all of its meaning in my life, it is not something I consider a passion. I have always admired friends who are musicians or loved and immersed themselves in music. One of the projects my team has worked on over the last twelve months is an internal media library, a corporate youtube if you will. The parts that have me engaged are the social interactions and the implications of leaving tracks in online spaces.

I was listening to Regina Spektor, Lucinda Williams and Rickie Lee Jones this morning. The first I heard about from my mom, the latter two from CBS Sunday Morning. Both cases were high-touch interactions, my listening to the direct recommendation by sources I trust. Finding the music on iTunes to buy and then transfer to my iPod is actually a subtly intimate affair. I have to remember the artists, find them in the iTunes store, identify the album, part with my money and then transfer to my device so I can experience the music. iPods are inherently personal. They offer custom engraved messages letting the world know mine is mine. They communicate through an 1/8th inch jack and often into ear bud speakers directly into my head. That is the bridge from the artist’s inspiration to my brain. Now the music has access to my innermost ticking.

There is plenty of work done on the impact of music on the human being – playing classical to babies in the womb to Tibetan singing bowls. Listening to music is intimate in that we construct relationships both with those who share and we share it with but also the artist, the words and sounds that resonate with us. We time code life with it and connect with other people through gifts and gifting. In addition, we are now annotating it with ratings, tagging, comments and play lists.

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