This week was SXSW in Austin. I usually try to go see as many movies as possible. It was a lot of fun running from one independent movie to another, but I did have to get some work done so my time was somewhat divided. One of the films I really enjoyed was “Sound City” directed by David Grohl. The movie is about the history of a recording studio in Van Nuys, CA. Nirvana recorded their breakthrough album, Nevermind, at Sound City, along with many rock and roll greats including, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, and many others. I enjoyed listening to the clips of music (and there were a lot) as well as their stories from their years at the studio. The people who recorded there and the folks who ran the studio obviously had a lot of good memories and high regard for each other.
Grohl was there and took questions from the audience. One question he was asked was what was the moment he realized that the band or experience was bigger than him (this is a paraphrase because though I recorded it the audience wasn’t mic’d. He answered,
To me I am the luckiest person in the world, I’ve gotten to jam with…to me collaborating with someone, collaborating with someone is what it’s all about. Since I was like, 12 years old, I never fucking practiced playing the drums by myself, what a drag, you know what I mean? I like playing drums with people, I like playing music with people, I like it that, when you’re with people and you’re communicating without words. You know. That’s awesome and that’s the relationship you look for. Josh Hommes from Queens from Stone Age– I’ve known him for ages man and when he’s puts on a guitar and I’m put on the fucking– pick up the drumsticks, killer shit happens. Every time. It’s great, it’s awesome, I love it, and for me personally– that’s what it’s all about, to find other people to share this with. And what Mick Fleetwood says in the film too, you know you’ll be a much happier human being if you do it with other human beings. I think he might be right. He’s a pretty smart guy.
A few weeks ago we had a discussion in our bilingualism reading group about whether or not there was an evolutionary advantage for bilingualism. I don’t know what the answer is to this question, but there are several well-documented advantages to bilingualism as well as costs. But, in terms of the opportunities for connecting with more people bilingualism wins. Ultimately making connections via language(s) or music is what this human experience is all about. Connecting with people, doing better, coming up with new ideas and solutions to problems–with others–is what it’s all about.