Apple Music has changed the interior space of my studio like no physical make over could.
Each morning I come into my studio and see what comes up on my iphone. Maybe I’ll listen to something new, or trawl through older music or something from the Middle East and Africa. I rarely listen to music that I know. Even it I want something comforting and familiar, like Dylan, I choose the records I’ve never heard before.
I’ve heard that smells are our biggest trigger of memory, but music can take me back to a time and place instantly. And I don’t want to go back. It’s not a matter of the memories being good or bad, it’s that I don’t need to relive the past. Especially in my studio, I always want to be present, right in moment
There’s plenty of times when I can’t listen to music when I’m working. It can be too distracting. But when it works, the music transforms the space around me. Filling it with sharp angles or soft edges, bright warm colors or flashes of light. My moods shift with the music. And often I dance, the music my partner. I move my body around the sound as if were taking up space on my floor.
Alive, alive I think as I search for just the right music. It stirs the air and wakes up the space till it vibrates in harmony with my body.
Today I put on David Bowie, because, of course, his latest record came up on my iphone. I haven’t kept up with his music, stopped listening years ago when I gave up my record player and albums. And hadn’t thought about him much until I heard he died. But I’ve always admired Bowie’s commitment to his work and that he never stopped growing as an artist.
So today I listened to three of his most recent records while I cut up an old quilt top that someone gave me and made potholders. I wondered if where he is now he could hear all of us playing his music. And it made me smile to think about it all the individual spontaneous tributes going on all over the world. Surely, all that collective music must be making a single beautiful noise to be heard by someone, somewhere.