Music has an incredible ability of transporting you to a place, a person a feeling or a moment in time.
This week, I went up to London with my brother to see off my best friend before he jets off to America to study at Havard. By chance, this trip coincided with a listening party organised by one of my favourite bands - Bon Iver.
The band invited fans across the world to gather at select record shops to experience a first listen to their fourth album ‘i, i’. It was really incredible experience, and one that I don’t experience enough - do nothing but just listen to music.
I was stood in between my brother (who has recently has been making leaps & bounds with his development as a young autistic man) and my best friend (who later this month will be moving to Boston to study at Havard). And we just listened. The odd nod and smile to each other between songs or at certain points, but otherwise we just stood and listened to music.
Every time I hear this record I’ll be reminded of this moment in time and this experience - a time where I was super proud of my brother, super proud of my best friend but also doing nothing but listening - completely blocking out everything else in the world.
The way I usually consume music is when I’m working, travelling, procrastinating - often doing something else on top of listening. After last Wednesday I think I’ll more frequently just listen. Do nothing else. Just listen.
The album also showcases the incredible power of collaboration - with a variety of talented people involved in the whole process. This is something I’ve also really strongly believed in & worked with - through a project with my friend Ed (who’s off to Havard) called & Friends. It’s also something I promote through teaching, workshops and throughout my work. When you collaborate and share ideas you learn - and JV has demonstrated this over the duration of his career.
There’s also something cool (to me at least) that happens when you discover something awe-inspiring - it sparks creativity. I finished listening to the record and thought - man I really want to make some music now. So thanks Justin & the Bon Iver crew - for creating an incredible body of work, for embedding a moment in time in ‘i,i’, for showcasing the power of collaboration & for sparking creativity.
Music is important.