The path to the key… is that musicians, and really, artists of all mediums, have not lately been able to keep hold of a clear understanding of their group existence.
Think of the visual arts in the 20th century up until a certain point … Those were human beings who at least in hindsight appear to have appreciated that as a large group they were accomplishing a beautiful and multifaceted amount of cultural innovation and a fairly constant and meaningful celebration of the art forms that they loved.
The sum of their parts appears to have been felt as a presence. Both Doug and James totally seem to say that they understand this about music, and it makes me very happy.
Yet there are enough musicians who, as Doug suggests, are content to live in an identity bubble and not think about how music as a coherent whole, as its own cultural creature of dynamic proportions and identities.
As long as that true form of music is obscured, a great deal of strength and energy is left untouched. Music as a unified and essential culture among humans suffers when it is merely implied, and would flourish when newly explored and newly celebrated.