Total Focus

I think he may be on to something:

“You listen to those old records we grew up with and they are just so good. There was another thing happening at the time, and it was total focus. We don”™t have that anymore — our whole landscape has changed because of society”™s compulsion to be fully connected at all times. We”™re constantly on our cell phones — talking, reading and sending emails, texting, checking our Facebook pages, and tweeting. There”™s no longer a time, like we had back then, when you”™re completely focused on your work. And when we went home, we immediately played music on our stereo. We didn”™t have a computer to run to. We didn”™t even have, at one point, a message machine to check! There was so much less involvement with networking and constantly responding to people. There was nothing but the music.

When you listen back to those records, they are phenomenal, and it”™s obvious the musicians were thinking about nothing but the music. Sure, today we can do many more things with Pro Tools — we”™ve got a lot more channels and many more sounds — but it actually takes far longer to make a record. That”™s because our focus is fragmented all over the place. If you took all that time we waste playing with our gadgets and applied it to the music, would the product be better? In my estimation, absolutely. That”™s one of the many things that have changed in this business.

Back then, we were playing more. That”™s what you spent your time on — your instrument. Also, there was an absolute focus on the project when you were in the studio. None of the other musicians were answering their cell phones, or texting and tweeting. Everybody was more involved in the project — paying attention to the tracks, commenting and reacting to the music. Listening back to records from that era, you ask yourself, how come there aren”™t any records like this today?”

Al Di Meola


1 reply
  1. Rob Haskell
    Rob Haskell says:

    HI, Richard, Hope all is well. All I can say to this post is:

    Well, said, Al.

    I think this opinion/philosophy applies to a lot more than just music. People have just lost focus, period, due to all the technology ‘distractions’. I am not saying anything negative about the technologies at play in the 21st Century, however, it seems people have lost a lot of the art of the “person”.

    Good post Richard, and equally stunning picture. I love that prism PRS Al uses.

    Best regards, Rob


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