Opus 3

I’m going through a musical slump. It’s not that I don’t have the energy to create – I’ve been through that before – it’s that listening to music doesn’t seem to bring me joy anymore.

I’ve never been through anything like this. I should be terrified of losing one of my dearest passions, but instead, all I feel is a deadened sensation. I’ve had this unpleasant feeling for a while now, and I don’t know how to get rid of it. Is it stress? Is it something physical – an oncoming illness, perhaps? Whatever it is, I don’t want it. I want to go back to my previous, familiar state of emotional sensitivity, when even the smallest artistic pleasures could delight me.

Perhaps it’s simply a part of getting older. I don’t know a lot of old people who still maintain the enthusiastic perspective that’s common among the younger generation. Or do I need a change of scenery? I’ve been living in the city for many years now, and while it offers me access to a wide variety of art, it is undeniably grey and polluted – especially since I live in Seoul. It might be time for a holiday.

Looking back on my lack of productiveness over the past few months, I’m deeply embarrassed of my flightiness. When I was a passive consumer of art, I used to sigh at how lazy artists seem to be, at how often they go on breaks and experience slumps. How ironic that I should end up becoming just like them! I tell myself that I’m simply going through a bad time, and it’s a true, if overused, excuse. I like very few things in my life right now; in fact, I can’t think of many non-art things that have made me happy over the past few years. My life has been made of art and little else.

Something has to change. I don’t want to go on like this forever.

Opus 3

Bad news first: ‘Into Winter‘ got rejected from the Short Sounds Film Festival. Eh, I knew it was coming, although I’d still held onto a sliver of hope that I’d get accepted as one of the 15 runners-up. (I’m not audacious enough to aim for the grand prize.) I wonder how far I was from being included in the top 15? I hope it was close.

Onto the next topic: gear doesn’t matter. Talent does. That’s what everyone thinks until they get a taste of gear that is really, really good.

A few days ago, I made the mistake of visiting the Lotte Shopping Mall at Jamsil station. There, I found a shop stocked with dozens of earphones and headphones available to try out. Of course, I had to listen to them, and after some unremarkable minutes spent with headphones in the $100-$200 range, I decided to try some headphones priced at roughly $600 – and was stunned.

I had no idea that the music I owned sounded like that. I always buy in 320 kbps whenever possible, but I never understood why people thought there was an audible difference between it and 192 kbps. I also didn’t understand why some people insisted on FLAC. I thought that they were snobs or that I had rubbish ears.

Now, I’ve realised that my perceptions of file quality were coloured by the listening devices that I own.  For that matter, I think my perceptions of the music I own were coloured by the listening devices that I own.

I desperately want those $600 headphones. If I don’t get them, the sound of them will haunt me until the day I die. It’s as though I rediscovered all of my music on that day. I foolishly forgot to take ‘Into Winter’ with me to Jamsil station; I can’t wait to listen to my music on those headphones.