“Probably any medieval person would be puzzled at our idea of looking through something. He would assume that the reality looked through at us, and that by contemplation we bathed in divine light, rather than looked at it.”
-Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy
We find ourselves saying “Listen to this band.” Language implies an intentional use of our ears. It is listening to and through music. At the same time we want to “lose ourselves in the music.” Action resides in the music itself. It bathes us in sound waves.
Neither option reigns over an individual exclusively. Quite the opposite: one engages with both simultaneously. We can listen to the details with rapt attention while letting a piece take us somewhere.
Where intention meets vulnerability is our relation to music today.