Let’s face it, music in the last 20 years has more or less become an element of background noise for most people. It is convenient, it is bought and sold, and through this, I think it is neglected. Music is not a tangible thing to the younger generations, it is something to listen to while you are playing a game, or eating, or doing homework, the list goes on. I can’t say that I have not embraced technology myself. It is great to have over 600 albums worth of material available at your fingertips crammed into a five ounce device, I can’t deny that. But, is that all there is for music now? When did it stop becoming and experience?
The Art of Listening strives to focus on the aforementioned ideas. I felt as if I should have been sitting in a cloud watching this film with its soft and soothing new-agey backdrop. The Art of Listening will introduce you to many artist/composers such as Alyssa Bonagura, Beacon, and The Chainsmokers along with guitar makers such as Ian Schneller of Specimen Products and synthmaker Dave Smith of Dave Smith Productions. Everyone talked to in The Art of Listening share this common bond of music being an experience. Whether it is being created or simply listened to, music should be an experience.
The Art of Listening drives home the ideas of what it takes to create a piece of music, and displays the struggle of this said creation. Having worked as an ameture studio musician for decades now, I found myself shaking my head agreeing with all of the people discussing these ideas. The bottom line is the common consumer just does not pay attention to many of the details that artists put into their music. The idea of sitting down and contently listening to a record is nearly a dead idea these days, well almost.
The Art of Listening reinforces the vinyl trend as of the last 5 years of this writing that I have observed. The movement focuses on this same idea, appreciate the art of music. Appreciating the entire package and listening to lossless audio again, to hear all of those details. The Art of Listening modest 74 minute running time was a little thin for me. The film was so good and the discussions were so compelling, I would have been immersed still in a film twice the running time. Also, where the hell was Hans Zimmer?
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Scott W. Lambert