In my interview with Jonas Hellborg this issue, I asked his opinion on the “state of music” these days. He had some very intriguing thoughts regarding this subject, and we continued talking about it well after the interview was over. One of the things I’ve realized over time, (and countless interviews) is how extremely personal someone’s outlook on this premise is. It seems to revolve around the obligatory statement, is the glass half empty, or half full. Jonas prefaced his response to my question in terms of feeling a bit contradictory on his thoughts towards this…kind of giving the half empty/half full theory some potential validation.
I guess my thrust on addressing this issue goes beyond just getting an opinion on this matter, and getting more to hopefully heightening our awareness of examining the nature of our involvement in music, which I believe has everything to do with one’s opinion on how the music business is doing as of late. Admittingly, it would be very easy for me to go to the dark side of the “business” of music these days, but I’m beginning to see how that “exercise of opinion” doesn’t really represent any kind of formidable solution to the fate of music’s well being, nor any kind of guiding light to a younger aspiring player.
So…rather than spending time elaborating on this or that opinion (including my own) on this subject and its relevance, (although I do enjoy the rhetoric) I propose this hypothesis:
To better perceive and inact any kind of change to the quote unquote state of music, it might be to ones advantage to look at answering the question, “What is the state of my involvement with music?”
Now we’re out of the throes of simply being a “critic” per se, and giving our opinion, and onto potentially impacting this “state of music”, one individual at a time. I tend to feel getting in touch with that side of ourselves not only helps define one’s perception of the half empty/half full analogy I mentioned, but can also serve as a clarification of sorts to ones musical intents, many times a tough one to understand…which then…puts us more in touch with our feelings about the state of music, and the circle is complete.
And maybe, just maybe, pursuing this type of awareness within ourselves, again, one individual at a time, could eventually have an affect on what many times seems to be completely out of our hands, the ability in some small way to perpetuate the relevance of music, and the arts, to our society. Big words…but a damn simple concept.
Jake Kot, Editor