Slow Music Movement

Slow Food Rocks

Photo by staxnet — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

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

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5 Responses to “Slow Music Movement”

  1. All About Dating and Relationships
    April 6th, 2009 05:52

    [...] KadmusArts - where culture speaks » Blog Archive » Slow Music Movement [...]

  2. Howard Fishman
    April 9th, 2009 12:25

    Hey Bill, thanks for the shout-out.

    For clarification, my creating and performing “outside of mass produced music for mass consumption, not necessarily by choice, but by reality” is not entirely accurate. It IS by choice, at least in terms of the choices that have been presented to me.

    Labels and managers have approached me over the years with a variety of suggestions for how I could change what I do to fit the mass consumption model. I listened, and then I declined. While it would be foolish of me to dismiss out of hand the notion that my music could appeal to the masses (I actually think it could), I’m not about to make artistic sacrifices because it would make me fit into the calculus of how to reach some executive’s target demographics.

    Yes, I want the audience to know me, to be part of the process, to share in the bounty when it is harvested…all this is true. When people take home a CD, or download an album, I want it to have meaning for them, beyond whatever visceral pleasure the actual music brings. I want them to know that because I respect myself and my audience (by which, i mean to say EVERYONE), no toxic cynicism has gone into the making of that music.

    When I produce a record, write a song, perform a concert, I’m not engaging in second-guessing, in terms of what I think you want to hear, or — worse — what I think will sell. I am simply doing my part in service to the better world we all want to be a part of by staying true to the impulses that come through me and communicating them to you.

    I’m idealistic enough to believe that the only thing that has kept my music from mass consumption is simply lack of mass exposure. Perhaps as the world is forced to reassess the definition of value in our current economic climate, “slow music” will find an even greater, more hungry, audience.

    Onward with the new Renaissance!


  3. Bill
    April 9th, 2009 13:57

    Perfectly written — just like your music!

    For those who want to learn more about Howard’s music, check it all out here:

    Sometimes, one doesn’t realize how hungry one was until one tastes something so good — just like Howard’s work.

  4. How to choose music for a retail store? | Alice in wire
    April 29th, 2009 09:48

    [...] KadmusArts - where culture speaks » Blog Archive » Slow Music Movement [...]

  5. Everybody Was Friendly » Blog Archive » THREE NEW RECORDS
    September 13th, 2010 11:59

    [...] any sense at all of the whole. You’ve heard of the Slow Food Movement? This is part of the Slow Music Movement. You’re gonna have to get out of the fast lane, instant-gratification mindset to deal with [...]

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