I have a certain fondness for music. It can set any scene, bring movies to life, alter a mood or envelop the senses. Wherever you are in the world, there is music. The melodies may change and the beat may alter, but the principles are the same; music is the soundtrack of life. I have a bad habit of listening to music wherever i go. On my way to work, its the commuting playlist. In the gym, its the powerhouse playlist, or the running playlist, or the cycling one. Travelling somewhere, its the adventure playlist. Essentially, i have a playlist for every eventuality and a song for every moment. But the music that inspires me the most is the spontaneous, the off the cuff, turn up and listen and embrace.
While apps like Spotify can take you around the world at a press of your finger, you don’t get as much of a sense of the music as when you are actually there to embrace it, hence the popularity of concerts. While i have been to my fair share of concerts, I’ve also been to a lot of impromptu musical sessions all over the globe. In Vietnam, i spent an evening deep in the Mekong basin listening to traditional vietnamese performances from a hammock under the stars. In Australia, around a camp fire on Fraser Island, i listened to two french men make love to their guitars next to the calming ocean lull. In New York, i listened to five old men play a rousing chinese collaboration in the heart of chinatown while watching old women squabble over a game of mahjong. Listening is a gift.
When i am at home, i put my headphones in and shut out the world. I take my music with me and i pick the song i think is needed for the moment. I keep my head down. Did i just walk past a street performer playing a beautiful melody? I don’t know, i wasn’t listening. Did that person just say something? I don’t know, i wasn’t listening. Music is wonderful and enlightening and useful, but don’t let it stop you from listening. Because maybe, if you forget to listen, you will forget to hear.
“A man who won’t listen can’t hear.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Embrace music, embrace life, but don’t forget to listen to the world around you, both at home and abroad. Except the gym. Music is always needed at the gym.
See you tomorrow fellow audiophiles,