The Problem With Headphones

23 May

I cannot believe i am here, writing a post about headphones that describes them  in something other than a purely positive light.

I am a muso, through and through. I FUCKING LOVE music. I have very specific tastes although i can appreciate most any kind of music, maybe for its power at conveying a feeling, or its style, or technical genius, or a thousand and one different things. The only type of music i can’t stand, off the top of my head, is commercial country. Apart from that I’ll dip my toe in pretty much anything.

Then there is the music i LOVE (you can see a lil cross-section here, if you’ve got more time on your hands than me (if so: WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR LIFE?!?!). The music i love has rescued me a million different times, from a million emotional black holes. It can soothe me or rouse me, make me question my beliefs, or reinforce them. It completely transcends anything else that is going on in my world; it can envelop me and provide a buffer between me and the not-me. It has been my life long friend and i know it will never abandon me.

I can play a couple of instruments (with varying degrees of success!) and i LOVE to sing. I think singing is to me like purring is for cats; the vibration, the healing, the connection to something deep and primitive within. I never stop singing, much to the annoyance (and occasionally, pleasure) of the victims people in my life. In all my school reports, from as far back as we have kept, somewhere they always say ‘she sings well’. I’m not amazing or anything, i just can carry a tune. There’s nothing better than a beautifully sunny day, a blue sky, a couple of doobies, a few friends and me, takin our instruments to sit somewhere on the green grass and jam. Ahhh…heaven!

So yeah, you get it, I ❤ music!

I love headphones,  not just because they allow you to take your soundtrack anywhere you want, but also because they allow you to experience the music as if it’s coming from inside your own head. It’s really a magical thing for someone like me; you may have listened to a song a thousand times all your life, but if you listen to it through your headphones, you’ll hear bits you never noticed before, and all the familiar bits become even more tangible, all the reasons you loved it in the first place are heightened too. Try it, g’wan. I betcha 10 quid I’m right (well, not literally 10 quid, for all i know you could be deaf…).

I ❤ music, therefore i ❤ headphones. (NB I’m not one of those highly irritating people who force you to listen to my music on the train. Jus’ sayin’).

Up until today, i thought headphones were one of those rare and sacred, purely good things in this confusing life.

But…

I have one of those all-singing-all-dancing-all-tea-making-smart-phone things;  this little baby provides me with my music on the move. Recently, i updated the phone and wiped all my music, with the intention of putting some new stuff on there, but I’ve had far more important things to do (like writing to you for instance), so i haven’t got around to it. This means that lately, when I’ve gone walking, I’ve had no music to distract me from my thoughts.

I’ve done so much good thinking lately, wondering while wandering. Until today, I never knew how much good thinking i could get done when i was walking and not distracted by music. For the first time in a few weeks, i replaced my music and had my headphones in while walking again. I had a smashing time listening to Lit – A Place In The Sun, but i didn’t get nearly as much useful thinking done as i did when i had no music;  my ears open to the world and my mind silent.

Health and productivity is all about balance. I will never hang up my headphones for good, but maybe from now on, once or twice a week, I’ll go wandering without them.

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2 Responses to “The Problem With Headphones”

  1. Addy May 24, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    I would lose the bet immediately. Listening to Holding Out for a Hero through my headphones the other week was a whole new experience, so many little things that I’d never heard in the thousands of times I’ve played this (admittedly) cheesy classic before.

    Now that I fully appreciate the magnifience of headphones I’ll never look back 🙂

    • fringewalk May 24, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      SOmebody actually did it! Yay for new sensory experiences! Thankyou! x

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