One of the things I love about music is that it forces you to stop being productive. What I mean by that is we often have music playing in the background for much of what we do. In reality, that tends to be nothing more than noise. But to listen, to really absorb music, requires you to stop what you are doing and commit to it. It demands something of you and offers nothing in return. You’ll have nothing to show for it. It’s an experience and then it’s gone. As I get older (and busier), I’ve realized that it’s a necessary discipline to make time to enjoy music in my life. Not just hear it, but to experience it.
In his book Soul Keeping, Pastor John Ortberg talks about profound advice he once received from Dallas Willard. Willard told him, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” We would do well to follow his advice today. But how?
Noise demands nothing of you. Music demands your attention. Noise happens in the commotion. Music happens in the moment.
On the band Copeland’s latest album (called IXORA), they also released an alternative version of the same album (appropriately called TWIN). In a move of brilliant creativity, they designed this extra album to be played at the same time as the original album. As they put it, “if TWIN is played simultaneously, and in sync with IXORA, you will hear a third version of the record as the two albums were created to play in harmony with one another.” Not only did they create an album which makes for good background music and can be quickly forgotten, they also included a feature that you can only appreciate by slowing down.
If I haven’t lost you yet, grab your favorite pair of headphones or sit in front of your favorite speakers and listen to at least one of the songs in this way. And do it with a least five minutes of downtime to commit to it. Normally you’d have to grab two devices and sync them together with each different album. Or, you can simply hit play on the video below to enjoy a version someone has already put together for free. Get ready to be inspired and have your head hurt for all the right reasons.