on record


My wife and I went to see a musical artist we enjoy, Josh Garrels, in concert recently. It’s the first concert we’d been to in a while. Such is the life of parents, but it makes me appreciate those rare events all the more. 

While we sat there, Josh’s angelic voice and the instrumental accompaniment of the other band members washed over us in waves of splendor. 

The sounds, the ideas expressed in just such a way, left us deeply moved. Many of his words and themes resonated with places and attitudes very familiar to us, especially those related to the concept of home.

Altogether, it created an experience which could not have been captured and replayed even with the best recording instruments. 

Yes, just about everyone has a phone now with a camera and mic built in. Yes, there have been some excellent live band recordings made into albums. And yes, Josh will play again at other venues, perhaps even the exact same songs in the exact same order. 

But none of it will be exactly like being there in that room at that time with those particular people. It will never be the same again, no matter how we may try to duplicate it. Same goes for any performance, musical or otherwise.

The magic of the moment is a special thing.

It reminded me of something I heard on the tech podcast, Note to Self. 

Study has shown that the more time spent taking pictures during an event, the less will be remembered later about the event itself. By taking photos instead of participating, you remove yourself from actually being there. You miss out.

I wonder how often this happens, in an attempt to capture the moment, we instead lose the ability to really enjoy the moment at all. Something to think about …

Anyhow, I did take a few pictures before and a very short video during, but for the majority of the time I just sat there, taking it all in. This is something I’ve been working on improving: worrying less about the recording and concerning myself more with just being present. 

I believe, as creatives, this can take us a long way toward inspiration and appreciation. 

Instead of trying to capture the moment, why not let it run free in its pure, wild form? I’ll have more thoughts on that later.

What do you think? Do you feel the need to capture the moment to be recalled and enjoyed later or do you set the phone down and open your ears and eyes to behold the beauty before you? Perhaps something in between?

A.P. Lambert

A. P. Lambert is an author and creative professional who helps other creative entrepreneurs achieve more and find purpose in their work.