Hearing

9°C, showers and very windy.


1/ Tall trees make the most fascinating sound against the stronger winds. A soft, deep roar, with smaller flutters, bows and groans. Looking up at the dark orange sky, there are long branches springing with the gusts, their ends waving frantically on the top end of majestic boughs. those slender branches were twice my height, and must have weighed as much as I do- but to see them flung around…
That sound really did stop me during the dog-walk, enough to keep me there until the cold took a bite.
 
2/ Headphones: been thinking about this after reading: Trashing Modernity by Colin McDowell in the Sunday Times. he’s been called a luddite – which I suppose is inevitable, but he did say one thing that stood out for me. After a passage debunking the mobile phone, he went on:
"The iPod is just as bad….
…How anyone of sane mind can think that having music shot through your lughole at close quaters can equate with listening to music, I can’t imagine"
It’s a shame he didn’t go further with that thought. Over 10 years ago I spend £75 on a pair of headphones because I’d moved in with a family who ate into my precious listening time. that turned out to be a notable waste of money. They were a carefully chosen pair, plugged into a much better than average hifi. there is something fundmentally wrong with listening to music on phones. It just doesn’t work as a way of communicating music. The sounds are clearer, textures more explicitly portrayed, but something was so wrong that these qualities were offset. I still can’t put my finger on what it is that phones do that change the hifi’s output into something that sounds like music but just is not.
I’m considering buying an iPod clone, also giving serious consideration to not buying one. It will be used to shut out the distractions while marking, sitting on a train or similar. There’s no point pretending that the sound those machines make is music- it simply isn’t. the magic of music doesn’t some out, partly to do with headphones and the rest is the effect of mp3 conversion (or wma) removing the spirit of performance. All is left is a shadow, a reminder of what it might sound like.
 
Open the window so you can listen to the gales.
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