I listen to a lot of electronic and trance music to keep a part of my mind occupied while I focus on my work. What I’ve noticed over the years is using a playlist or a service like Pandora doesn’t quite do it for me. I could never put my finger on it until it clicked one day. Having the ability to skip a song makes the experience of listening more in the foreground where I have yet another choice to occupy my mind. Do I like this song? Should I go to the next one?
I grew up listening to broadcast radio. The DJ was the one making all the choices for me. I merely had to pick a station, turn up the volume, and go about my day. I’d hear songs that were interesting, some terrible, others meh. Commercials were also a mindful break for me to step away. Taking away the decisions about what song to play next was freeing. It also felt like the DJ was in my room with me – you even developed weird relationships based solely on their voice and style of DJing. You knew others were listening to the same exact thing you were at that moment in time. It was a way of building a community.
That’s why to this day I will still subscribe to services like Digitally Imported and SiriusXM. It’s also why I love DJing music for other people. I like being part of that subconcious community enjoying that music at the same time, on the same planet.
It reminds me I’m not alone.