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Old 10-22-2007, 01:36 PM
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In praise of Lud

Finding Time
The fast, the bad, the ugly, the alternatives
by Rebecca Solnit

Published in the September/October 2007 issue of Orion magazine

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF MY APOCALYPSE are called Efficiency, Convenience, Profitability, and Security, and in their names, crimes against poetry, pleasure, sociability, and the very largeness of the world are daily, hourly, constantly carried out. These marauding horsemen are deployed by technophiles, advertisers, and profiteers to assault the nameless pleasures and meanings that knit together our lives and expand our horizons.

I’m listening to a man on the radio describe how great it is that there are websites where musicians who have never met or conversed or had any contact at all can lay down tracks together to make songs. While the experiment sounds interesting, the assumption sounds scary—that the complex personal, creative, and cultural collaborations of music-making could be unnecessary and you just need the digital conjunction of some skill sets. The speaker seems to believe that the sole goal is the production of songs, sundered from the production of social ties and social pleasure. But music has always been an occasion for people to get together—in rehearsals, nightclubs, parties, festivals, park band-shells, parades, and other social spaces. It is often the soundtrack to bodies in conjunction, whether marching or making love.

Ensemble music made in solitude is a very different thing; as a norm it signifies a loss. The loss is subtle and hard to describe, especially compared to the wonders of what can be uploaded, downloaded, and Googled, and the convenience and safety of never leaving your house or never meeting a stranger. The radio rave comes a few days after I talk to a book editor who’s trying to articulate what goes missing when you go to Amazon.com for books: the absence of the opportunities for browsing, for finding what you don’t know you’re looking for or can’t describe in a key-word search. A digital storefront can lead you to your goal if you know exactly how to spell it, but it shows you next to nothing on the way; it prevents your world from getting significantly or surprisingly larger. The virtual version rips out the heart of the thing, shrink-wraps it, sticks a barcode on, and throws the rest away. This horseman is called Efficiency. He is followed by the horseman called Profitability. Along with Convenience, they trample underfoot the subtle encounters that suffuse a life with meaning.

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/346

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Old 10-23-2007, 09:29 PM
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Thank you, Ned.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:33 PM
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I've recorded myself while practicing alone and it always sounds weak. Playing before an audience or with other musicians, sounds much better.

The energy of the group is important, IMO.

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