11 August 2014

No Revival

So after years of nothing appearing on these pages because I had nothing productive to contribute, I have a vague idea about a creative project. Something to keep my mind active, something to channel my energies into, engage me and get me to hopefully enjoy a resource I have on tap but so often overlook.

The idea is simple: listen to my entire music library one album/collection at a time. Really listen. Then write up thoughts, reviews, emotional fallout, kittens... whatever happened in that time but in a coherent and intelligent way. Simple.

It works on two levels.
  1. to force me to listen to the music I own, much of which has sat unplayed
  2. To get me to positively engage with an activity, rather than passively waste my evenings being bored, lonely, tired, or listless.
It's not a small project. My library contains 1555 albums/collections according to Windows Media Player; 16,000+ tracks and 47 days worth of runtime. It's quite a varied library; there are some strong themes, but it spans many genres. Somewhere in there I would hopefully generate the odd interesting review. Were I to make it through, even with a moratorium on buying anything new it would take me a year or three to complete. That assumes that I was able to a) get going and b) keep going to the end since it's over 3 at 1 collection a day. Granted, some are small enough that multiple could be shot through in an afternoon, but that's still a daunting thought.

So what order to do it in?

I don't want to go by artist because that means too many long runs of the same musician all together... and getting bored or tuning out is the opposite of the point. I suspect therefore that I would go alphabetically by album. That also ends up in long runs of the same thing (or at least one such... and 356 folk songs in a row might break my brain as well as kill interest in the idea) but allowing myself the liberty of switching out if I hit such a run mitigates that. New purchases may need to fit in somewhere too. Rigid planning is not the route to the finish line here.

The question is, in this digital, post-product age, why albums? Easy: they serve to break up tracks, easily categorise what has been done and what is to come. They also work as conceptual groups, to draw links between. And frankly they're also how I tend to buy; I'm rooted in the physical still and I like my library of discs - they allow me to play things in the car (except where those discs are dying, like my CDR of Orange Dirt County by Pip Dylan). But mostly its the categorisation thing - keeping track of progress.

I'm still uncommitted to the idea - I've not begun a review, a listen or spoken to anyone about my plans for my spare time, but the thought is growing on me and I have set up a blog for the purpose. I suspect I'll start - not least because by using WMP's alphabetical album listing I have a favourite up first (easily guessed if you know me; or stated in the blurb for the new site) - but then run out of steam in the first 10 discs or so... unable to find the right mental space to commit, like with so many other things.  We'll see, eh?

But it won't revive this pile of junk. If it goes ahead, it'll have its own blog and separate space at http://wiltml.blogspot.co.uk/ just to clutter up another little corner of t'internet with my garbage.