On depth and breadth in how I listen to music

A thought over tea while listening to beloved music: I recently realized that I probably listen to less new music compared to many people. That’s not intentional and certainly not due to a lack of great music. It’s just that I still seem to run on these 4-6 month cycles (sometimes longer) I spotted about a decade ago, in which one or two core albums/bands/musicians are everything I seem to need for nourishment, over and over again.

Having relationships to works of art that deepen with every visit means that they are vehicles for getting to know yourself better, for transformational work, and not a stream of releases with which to keep up. It’s like once you find that Pilates, kayaking, drinking a certain tea deepens your wellbeing, there’s no point in trying out all other available options. There are people who like to sample all kinds of teas or musics, and in a professional capacity I often do that too – I’m deeply curious about new original expressions. But when something sticks, the need for breadth can go away quickly, replaced by a quest for depth. Great works of art are vehicles for a spiritual discipline, and these things work over long periods of time.

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