More on indulgence in music…

Been thinking about this whole question of indulgence in music, sparked off by the discussion over on the forum, and I think I’ve hit on something that might make sense of it. Maybe the difference between acceptable and unacceptable indulgence is whether the musician is playing the music they want to play or the music they want to hear – it makes some sense to describe musicians playing in front of an audience who play music that is more fun to play than to listen to as being overly self-indulgent. If instead the musicians are focussed on playing the music they want to hear, then the indulgence is from the point of view of themselves as their own audience, rather than as a performer disregarding the audience… does that make sense as a distinction? It’s certainly where I come from as a musician, particularly when making a CD – I make albums that are what I’d want to listen to. One glance at my most listened to artists list over at reveals that I spend a disproportionately large amount of time listening to myself. Everything I record is listened to repeatedly before being accepted for release. It’s run by a couple of other people whose input is appreciated, and then if I’m enjoying it, it stays. It’s not really about things that are ‘fun to play’ or clever, just those things that sound like the soundtrack to the world around me…

Does that make any sense?

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