02-17-19 | Why should we be listening? | Aaron Greenwald
In the age of streaming music most people listen to songs with less attention and intention than they did in the days before Spotify, AppleMusic, and Pandora put their algorithms to us. This is a shame, because it creates fewer opportunities for a song to work its way under your skin — to teach you about it (the song) and you (the person listening to the song). This project, Songs for Listening, came out of my concern for a loss of serious listening in our culture. At around the same time — January 2019 — I’d just left my job as the executive director of Duke Performances (a position I held for a dozen years, all through my 30’s); I missed the day-to-day interaction with world-class artists, the managers and agents who looked after them, and the intellectual and musically-minded cohort that exists at Duke University and in the Durham community. I thought, then, that I’d write to people of whom I judge astute listeners with the following request:
Can you provide me, please, with a list of 3 to 5 songs (could also be a movement / section of a classical or jazz recording) that feel urgent, beautiful & deserving of deeper listening? songs that you've dug into (or, that've dug into you) over recent days, weeks & months?
I'm aiming to make daily playlists from folks I know, love & trust — I'll share them via various online mechanisms with the aim of reaching as wide a circle of listeners as possible. My investment here is to provide a platform for folks to participate in more careful listening. It's a small experiment, we'll see how it shakes out.
With thanks & gratitude,