There is an invisible collaboration between the artist and the consumer. The band does not make the music. Your mind does. They encode their message in vibrations in the air, markings on a page. You decipher them.
I once asked a painter about the meaning of one of her paintings. She asked me what it meant to me. Because the making of the work—the coding of an experience onto a medium—is only half the art. The rest lies in the power of the beholder. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, it doesn’t make a sound. Sure, it vibrates the air, but with an ear to sense the vibrations and a brain to convert them into noise, there is no sound.
In a real way, by hearing and seeing and touching, you are calling art and creation into existence.