Conversation: with Richard Clark - laptops are portable music data players too! - 25 February 2008
While I am busy eating my lunch on Monday, I am asking questions to Richard Clark, the head of the sound tech area for Campus for Christ, about his experiences with MP3 players. He responds with what I feel to be genuine enthusiasm on his part, as though he thought through these issues quite a few times. [1.1] All of his friends at the table we were eating at have portable music data players of some kind or other on hand, with one exception. Most of them have MP3 players; quite a few have cell phones that are capable of playing music.
[2.2] Richard speaks with conviction. "I don't listen to secular music, because music gets to me, and there are subtle themes in a secular song that I'm afraid will get to me. I listen to Christian music because it gets to me." "So you believe that what music you listen to influences how you think?" I ask, trying to clarify what he was saying. "Oh, yeah!", he exclaims.
[3.2] When I ask him regarding his favourite genre of music, he responds with Toby Mac's hip-hop or DC Talk's rock. The band that influenced him most recently? "Casting Crowns. They're a soft rock band. The song that influenced me was a song that talked about 'What would happen if we pray more?' and talks about 'If we're the Body'; we should start acting like the Body of Christ."
[3.3] I then ask him how he discerns whether a piece of music is Christian or not. "No cursing." "It can be any style ... rock, classical, country/western, anything. Generally, a band declares themselves Christian and the Christian music stores carry them", he answers pensively. "What about these bands that call themselves Christian but are trying to make it into the secular market?", I reply, not quite yet satisfied with the current answer. "They infiltrate the secular tour to evangelize."
[1.2] I want to go back to the subject of music players. "When do you listen to your music player?" "All the time. Mostly, though, I listen to music on my laptop." Just then, I realize that a laptop is indeed portable, as well as capable of playing music from data. Taking that factor into consideration, I discover that everyone at the table had a portable data music player.