It’s been a painful last few weeks. It’s been a painful last year. Covid consequences still impacting on all of us and whilst we try and rebuild our shattered lives from the tatters of what used to be our businesses and convince ourselves that we will emerge stronger than when we went in, the picking up of the pieces is slow and for many will come too late to avert permanent change.
It is in times like this post the inward looking introspection of lock down, work from home, socially awkward behaviours and isolation that the obvious turn to music has taken place. Personally it was great to re-acquaint myself with my hobby and my passion and to come to terms with the fact that the changes that have been inflicted on us are going to be around for a lot longer and with more economic hardship and pain than we expected.
Into this we can add the mix of our politics which is a toxic mess of indescribable proportions of ineptitude and uncaring and we have every right to retreat from the swamp and to engage ourselves further in musical insulation. Without it, I for one, would have gone mad.
Listening to a baby grand in full cry in a smallish wooden floored room whilst sitting side on on a couch I found myself in the zone of listening to a pure point source. Interesting that people walking in front of me were barely noticeable (compare that to what happens when someone walks in front of one of your speakers) and just how effortlessly ones ears adjust to the majesty of unfiltered sound. It helps having a pianist that knows what he’s doing and ad libbing Bach meant that quite literally, it was a once in a life time experience because that particular wandering path of made up tunes will never be replicated.
But also I was reflecting in how good our systems have become in reproduction. It’s on the margins – where digital was the last great leap forward but with on going refinements, tweaks and ever improving sound engineers making the differences. And whilst I’m having a standing tussle with a mate who doesn’t want ‘critical sound’ as he calls what I listen to, but who wants ‘good sound’ as he calls it from his environment on which he watches mostly F1 and listens to music mostly when friends are around. The dilemma is real and the options out there are such that I actually cannot help him other than to point him in directions he may not have considered. Referring him to this site was one of life’s genuine moments of pleasure when the feedback that came back was ‘OK, wow, I just didn’t think about music like that’.
It’s why we do what we do.
PS. The new Everest as the cover pic? Yup. The B&O sound system in it is worthy of a listen.