Michael McCooe has been listening to music all his life. That amounts to many thousands of recordings, both well known and not so well known, across the broadest possible spectrum of categories, concepts and languages.

This site is not meant as some kind of critique. Rather it is simply a means of recording, in as simple a form as possible, some basic impressions left behind by that enormous body of work.

About Michael McCooe

First of all, what makes any work of art great? For that matter, what makes it a work of art? And how can you tell? Well, there are lots of answers to that but by far the best way of being able to tell is by having listened a lot. Remember: something only stands out from the landscape when there is a landscape to stand out from – which is probably another way of making the point that everything is comparative.

What do you look for? Forget academic definitions – you just look for whatever you like, whatever has an impact on you. Better to listen to just one work which stays in your mind forever than a hundred spiritless exercises in technical excellence.

And why does it stay in your mind? Well, maybe because after you have listened to it you view other works in a different way to how you would have before. Comparatives again. Never let anyone make decisions about art for you. Someone else’s idea of what constitutes a reflection of human truth is never going to correspond to yours – and probably their idea of the human truth being reflected won’t correspond to yours either.

Which is part of the empowerment that your own personal listening can do for your own psyche. It is often forgotten that original forms of education were based simply on viewing and listening. A pity so much of what we call education now has moved away from that.

So enjoy your own personal adventure in listening. Be passionate about it. And remember, it is yours and yours alone. You will never be the same after as you were before. And no-one can ever take it away from you.