I can’t count how many hours I’ve spent doing data management… of albums I’ve heard. It started off innocently enough: what were all the 20 or 50 albums I’ve heard? Oh, let’s go check out some CDs at the library. At some point between then and now, this cataloging debauchery has surpassed 6,742 entries, and I also somewhere along the way learned not to focus all my efforts on filling out album spreadsheets. It’s as easy as… distraction…?
I think this is part of some inane desire for order.
I’m currently listening to a Nawang Khechog I bought some years ago that I’ve never listened to until now, and as part of my packing process, I’m listening to every CD I own at least once. This ensures I don’t move any album I hate, every album gets recorded with a rating, and more importantly than rote logistics, this gives me entirely new material to listen to while I pack.
Or if I’m tired, while organizing future data entry points…
Packing up all my Khechog CDs requires that I sort through to all my Kitaro, Nakai, and Keola Beamer CDs; there’re enough overlap collaborations to lump them all together. I used to just idly sit and browse through other album entries while listening to music or be otherwise time inefficient. Now, I have a brief list of what I need to listen to and then I can focus on other things.
Because I can always catalog things later on.
There’s a cozy sort of feeling that’s hard for a primarily creative person like me to describe in the low-impact, logical thinking that’s prevalent in this sort of data management. It’s like the poetic beauty that arises from a numerically simple paragraph structure, or, almost like the only difference between the expression of creativity and logic being the variables used.
Both can be almost addictingly compelling.
This list, in a way, is a polite compromise between my brain’s natural inclination to want to be constantly adding in new information into my memories. It’s like a reminder that there’s more out there than just the computer, the database, or this sort of beautiful logic that comes from filling in the blanks of a chart – be it some advanced computations or just some albums.
This all seems trivial, right?
Why don’t I listen to whatever I want, whenever I want? If left to my own devices, I would probably only listen to Sabaton to motivate me to do high-energy activities like packing or S&M to motivate me to write at my best, so for external cataloging and internal diversity, it’s nice to have a constantly rotating queue of new music or at least music I haven’t heard in a while.
There’s also something to be said for a low-tech approach.
With a hand-written list, I can avoid the trap of constantly checking my catalog, which enables me to focus for longer periods of time, to complete more work.
It’s like re-routing external compulsive motivators to my advantage.
|Sources: My personal experiences. The title of this essay was inspired by this Claude Debussy quote: “Music is the space between the notes.”|
|Inspirations: I’ve had this problem for many years where I’d throw away hours of time into cataloging, organizing, and analyzing my album collection. While this sort of data management has helped in certain logical regards, it’s not a great use of my time. Now, I’ll limit CD cataloging to when I’m waking up or otherwise physically exhausted so I’ll have some way to distract myself while I work on getting physically motivated. There are subtle hints of psychological addiction punctuating certain thoughts in the essay, as well, that I’ll just highlight here and leave as ponderings.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
— CD essays:
01. Albums: Move, Sell?
02. Luxury of Ownership
03. “Close Enough” Lumpings
04. Last Heard: Pre-Cataloging
05. Album Sorting Algorithms
06. Slow to Unearth
07. Declutter Then Alphabetize
08. Your Media Donations
09. Space Between Cataloging
|Photo: CDs arranged for optimal swap and gos.|
|Written On: December 18th [45 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|