The Downtime Dilemma
We get spoiled by how easy it is to get work done with the aide of technology.
I have a variety of different projects going on and there is no way I could manage without the software tools and services that I rely upon. This morning, one of the tools was down for maybe an hour.
I check Soundcloud even before I check email. It is a central part of my daily work (obviously). If it is not working what do I do?
As a creative person, the degree to which I rely upon an external tool to do my work, I make myself vulnerable to the reliability and availability of that tool.
The tools that have the biggest impact on our productivity are sometimes the most fragile. And because these tools are so powerful we become increasingly dependent upon them.
The primary tools of a creative person exist in her own body. The hand, the ear, the eye, the mind. Everything starts there. External tools are secondary and can sometimes interfere with deep learning and mastery if they enable you to skip too many steps in a process. They can also remove the need for the repetition required to drive skills into the body.
Once you own a skill you can and should leverage every tool available to multiply your effort. But if you wake up tomorrow with the bare minimum required to exercise your craft, could you do it?
Are you so committed to the nitty-gritty elements of your craft that you will do it "free-hand" if necessary?
Can you be taken out of the game by a glitch?
If you are a musician, you need an instrument to produce your work. But what if you had to downgrade? Or you had to make do with a "less than optimal" version of your instrument? What if you had to bang on a table instead of a drum machine?
As you ease into this playlist try to imagine the technology aided elements of the songs stripped away. Listen to the underlying musical principles, the richness of the rhythm composition, the chord progressions. Can you sense the spirit and energy that went into track?
People who question the artistic merit of electronically produced music miss the point.
True; if the artists featured here didn't have the tools available that they used to make these tracks, the tracks would not sound same. But they still would express the creative intent and earned skill of the artist behind it.
If all the systems went down, we would be listening to these same artists make music out whatever happen to be lying around.