Thursday, 22 September 2016

The new stuff or the old stuff?

On a Nerdist podcast I was listening to recently (I can't remember who was being interviewed, it might have been the awesome Michael Ironside), Chris Hardwick asked the question, sorry to paraphrase, " Do you keep looking out for new stuff to fill your head with, our do you keep going back to the old stuff you love, to reinforce those things in your mind?"

What a great question! Something I've considered several times since. When my better half asks me why I buy new music when I have so much music already (my HTC 1 M8 has a 128Gb MicroSD card full of pinned music from my Google Play repository), I struggle to answer.

But I suppose the real reason is that you can only discover a piece of music for the first time once. I have favourite albums from every year and every decade. And when I bought them I would listen to them on hard rotation for as long as a month, unable to bring myself to swap out the CD and listen to anything else because it would be some kind of betrayal. While I still love those albums, I'd never go back and listen to them again in the same way. But maybe I should. Why quest for new bands, new artists, new music, when all those amazing records still sit there waiting to be listened to again. There are some songs that are so beautiful that I could listen to them on repeat forever.

My favourite science fiction books, like the Isaac Asimov Foundation Series, Stephen King's The Dark Tower or the Arthur C Clarke Rama books, cannot be discovered again for the first time. I doubt I could feel the same sense of wonder again by reading them a second time. But then what about all the details I've forgotten? Surely that merits another dive into those worlds?

Part of it comes with age. You've exposed yourself to so many things, so much music, so many films and books, that suddenly it feels right to honour those things you loved from your younger years, because didn't they serve to form you into the person that you came to be?

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