The slow music movement has arrived.
The Slow Music Movement follows the Slow Food Movement, Slow Home Movement, Slow Listening Movement, Slow Travel Movement, Slow Shopping Movement, Slow Cities Movement, Slow Sex Movement, and the all-encompassing Slow Planet Movement.
What does it mean to go slow? All of these movements got their inspiration from the Slow Food Movement, a rebellion against fast-food that began in 1986. The Slow Food philosophy and practice is to gain direct contact with one’s local food products, to understand where one’s food comes from, and how one’s food choices affect one’s self, community, and world — from growing, to purchasing, to cooking, to eating.
In other words, slow down to eat better, sleep better, make love better — live better.
Carl Honore’s book, In Praise of Slowness, has become the bible of what we gain when we lose time. What captured Honore wasn’t the suspicion of speed dating, or the opportunity to take speed yoga (!), but a new line of fairy tales that took less time to read to his kid. According to the one minute fairy tales’ author, be “truly involved with your youngster… when reading is not what you wish to be doing.” Yes, get your kid to sleep quicker and more efficiently. Avoid all that bonding and relationship and mentoring stuff. It’s the modern daddy. Life is so busy — wouldn’t it be helpful to save precious time? [If you are now afraid and want to slow down, but don’t know how, check-out Geir Berthelsen’s The World Institute of Slowness.]
Howard Fishman spoke about the new community of the Slow Music Movement at a recent concert. Howard creates and performs outside of mass produced music for mass consumption, not necessarily by choice, but by reality. For him, though, the real value of the enterprise is the way his work parallels the slow food movement: his audiences have come to know him, to look forward to his latest natural harvest, and then to invest precious time and money to be together for a healthy meal of music. There is a complete mutuality: Howard offers his music and the audience is grateful to receive; the audience offers their hospitality, and Howard is grateful to receive.
This kind of intimate and direct experience is happening all across the world, every night: the lifeblood of live music.
The ancient Greeks took time off from their busy nation building and international economic transactions to give themselves over to multi-day festivals of theatre. They knew that a slower consumption led to a better digestion — of morals, ethics, and ideas.
You don’t run through a museum or speed-read great literature. Genuine artistic expression, tangible culture, not only demands that you take time to absorb it, you want to take the time, the time to revel in the art.
So, take the time and sing along with the Slow Music Movement, happening right now on a stage near you.
- Bill Reichblum