life through bombardment

when was the last time you sat down, with your headphones on, or speakers blaring, listening to a record? only a record. nothing else. absolutely nothing. your mind completely focused on the music. the music only. nothing else in the world mattering. or rather, nothing in the world existing other than you, that record, and a means to hear it.

i’m going to go ahead and assume that it wasn’t recently. if ever.

i was eating at a food court in a mall the other day and music was blaring in the background. there was a family to the left of me and the mother was listening to her ipod while having dinner with her family.

let’s face it, music has become a background art. it’s ubiquitous. it’s everywhere. just floating into the background. into the ether. bombarding us with random noise. permeating the layers of our lives. adding texture.

when you read a novel, you only read.

when you watch a film, you only watch.

we only do one thing at a time. it’s inefficient, but we’re fine with it. that’s just the way we’re wired. why then do we suddenly feel compelled to become proficient in efficiency when we listen to music? why the urge to relegate music into the background in the spirit of multitasking?

i understand that it adds a soundtrack to our lives. it fills the little pockets, the nooks and crannies in our lives, occupying the space around us, somehow making everything feel more complete, more rounded. but it’s more than just sound. it’s music. it deserves our full attention, at least at times.

i know we can’t always put everything aside and just listen to music. no one can. there simply isn’t enough time in our lives. but we should make an effort, every now and then, maybe when we get a new record, or when our friend says ‘listen to this,’ to just sit, or lay, or stand, and just listen.

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