(By the way, this post isn’t really about music but…) I really love Spotify. Once the die-hard music collector, insisting upon “owning” everything I listened to and following particular genres, I defected to Spotify a couple of years ago; yes, somewhat skeptical at first. The result: it was like opening up a small, familiar box that I had carried with me everywhere for years to find its contents popped out and inflated to multiple times the original size. For that was my music taste then and…now, two years on…it is infinitely expanded into something almost unrecognisable, and growing still.
One of the things I love most about Spotify is a thing called Discover Weekly, which suggests music for me to listen to based on my prior taste. Every monday, I get to dive upon a new playlist of suggestions and this has led me off on some voyages of discovery, towards some “new” musical artists that I might never have got to discover by any other means. Really, I treasure some of the suggestions it has made to me and what I also love is how one small detour leads to another…and another…and another, making a whole new trajectory out of one small willingness “to explore” on my part.
What this has amply demonstrated in action serves as a metaphor for life itself. What you “ask for” here and now manifests “in the future” as your array of choices. In other words, if you stick to what is known and comfortingly familiar then…guess what…that’s what you keep getting, week after week. If you open up and diversify then, again guess what, the suggestions and possibilities that life opens up to you will broaden and diversify too. Those once tight little options that made up “your certain little world” hold the potential to grow exponentially as soon as you do this, offering ceaseless variety, colour and texture plus so many pleasant surprises in tandem with your preparedness to try something different.
Sometimes just for fun, or because a silly-summery mood takes me over, I dive into something completely outside of my usual musical taste, you could say my comfort zone, into something frivolous, unexpected or as though I am become someone else for a holiday. Different cultures, completely different styles; there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain when you get to dip in to it all so freely as we now can do. Partly, its as though I am trying to throw some part of me off my own scent when I experiement, surprising myself into feeling something fresh. And indeed, these diversions do throw off the algorithms associated with my Spotify account, serving to pepper-up my future weekly lists with weird and wonderful suggestions aimed at meeting this new seasoning where it crosses with my more familiar choices. These diversions not only freshen up my “here and now” but, quite often, throw up some of the more interesting fusions of music that are some of my most treasured recent discoveries; where cultures and eras cross over into a free-for-all of musical taste. And, believe me, all these options exist out there – the world’s most diverse musical taste has never been more experiemental and available in a way that explorers like me help to encourage. In other words, my preparedness to open-up my taste a little now feeds into the potential for me to explore a lot more in the future. I am offered new and ever more creative shades of experience that might never have come up for me to sample had I stuck to the well trodden route of my more-typical music taste accessed in a more traditional way.
Again, this is life all over…the looser and more inclusive we are prepared to be in our “now”, the broader the future sample-plate of our experience becomes going forwards. Life becomes richer by far, as though portals of experience that may have remained sealed and invisible to our eyes suddenly appear on our path, offered only because we dared to be open to them being there. So, life expands and expands, ever more textured and colourful…infinitely more exciting and beautiful…no longer this stale and containable thing that is so easy to own, to label or to describe as a particular genre; and why would we want to when there is all this ever broadening diversity just waiting to be explored in a way that just is so enriching to the soul.
Contextual note relating to The Nine Waves of Creation – the eighth wave of our evolution (which birthed internet technology) allowed Spotify to exist…but it is the ninth wave (unity consciousness) in action when both access to, and exposure for, music and its makers are so freely available; and when we see musical tastes and origins merge and cross-over to become so much more than the sum of their parts!