The Lost Art Of Daydreaming

06-28-2013 08:11 AM

Music and video creators have benefited greatly over the past few years as electronic developments have delivered unimaginable power. Now what took a studio full of gear, even a home studio, can be replicated on a moderately powerful computer at a fraction of the cost. My first experience of home recording was a Tascam 244 Portastudio, 4 tracks on cassette for £1299. Now you can have everything you need to make high quality recordings and still have change for a bag of chips and the bus fair home.
However technology has not only offered us amazing ways to express our creativity but it also has the potential to hinder us.
Before we even get into our studios an even more important process takes place when our imagination starts to run wild, we conceive ideas, develop lyrics and in some cases even hum the tunes.
For that to happen a creative needs time and space, but if like me you’ve been seduced into having your phone with you 24/7, which is often a smart phone with the internet, email and social media, then you’ll start to realize that we can get sucked into this ‘always on’ world.
This world is always answering calls, emails, texts, commenting on Facebook, or surfing the web. Rather than connect us to the world, it can often disconnect us from the real world, for example; instead of being part of a group sharing coffee, or having dinner, we are constantly checking our phone. Perhaps it’s just me? I think not.
Here’s the most damaging thing for a creative… this world is a world with no gaps, no spaces, no blank canvases, this world has no place to daydream.
I came to this conclusion when I forgot to take my phone with me when I went to my coffee shop down the street. As I sat there I suddenly realised that I was zoning out, staring into space, considering things, day-dreaming. It is in this place that my ideas are conceived, nurtured and even if not fully formed at least they have a chance of seeing the light of day. Perhaps our constant use of technology is making a generation of impotent creatives, sterilized by all the ‘noise’ we have constantly streaming through our world.
Now before you think these are the musings of a luddite technophobe, you are less likley to find anyone more into having all the latests gadgets. The only way I could be any earlier as an adopter of a new product would be to invent it. This article is not a rage against technology, it’s an encouragement to find balance, to see the essential value in retreat. In a post-industrialised society we are not encouraged to value rest and contemplation - they are seen as at best fluffy and at worst laziness.
Many people simply can’t disconnect, living in a constant state of stress. So I would almost go as far as saying it is the responsiblity of artists to do that for the rest of the world - to make things of wonder and beauty as an antidote to this mad world.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing about a mobile phone is that you can leave it at home. In fact now a make a point of leaving my phone at home more and more so that I can disconnect and day dream, it’s not long before the ideas start flooding out and that idea could be your best song yet!
Perhaps you already live in this world, if you do then I’m glad to be back with you because until I came back I didn’t realize how badly I missed it.