Monday, 7 December 2015

Listen Up!

This blog has lurked around for a while, unpublished. I wasn't convinced it 'had legs'. So I want to thank Sukhvinder Pabial ( @sukhpabial ) for his joyous weekend blog Acapella Music and Pentatonix which reminded me why I penned this in the first place.
I have started listening to music again.

"Why is this news?", I hear you ask. Maybe not of much import to or impact on you, but it's another step along my cardiac bypass recovery and readjustment path, and indeed, links to and supports another of my 'life themes', 'Look Up! See blog, "Things Are Looking Up"

I have grown to value silence. During my recovery, when I was not out walking and building up my stamina and strength, I spent a lot of my time alone during the day, as Mandy was at work and the children (young adults), albeit home for the holidays, were doing their own thing elsewhere. I 'switched off' from the noise of social media and any work-related activities.

And in this new-found silence, I resisted back-filling it. I only watched breakfast TV, and then switched everything 'noisy' off - no TV, no radio, no iPod/Pad/Phone, no stereo system (remember them?). On my walks, as well as 'looking up', I have been 'listening up', hearing birdsong, wind in branches, waves on pebble beaches, seagulls calling... And just taking it all in.

And I've been wondering why I haven't been inclined to listen to music. I have wide musical tastes (I shan't bore you by listing them) and have always enjoyed both recorded and live performances. So what changed?

I had to travel up to London on the train recently, and after being on the train for 10 minutes, I chastised myself for forgetting my earphones. And there it was! I didn't want to listen to music on my 'phone for the pleasure of listening to music itself - I wanted to drown out the intrusion of the chatter, laughter, crying children, leaking personal stereo headphones and incessant service announcements which permeate modern train travel. I was taken right back to my commuting days and the 'familiar bad feelings' associated therewith.

I realised that I had begun to associate music with an unpleasant experience by using it as a distraction, a disconnect, if you will, from that experience and the people around me and thereby I devalued something that has given my heart and soul much pleasure and comfort over the years. This realisation made me sad.

So I determined to lay the ghost and reconnect with my music. We have a large collection of CDs and online music. I decided to re-explore that collection and other sources - and write this blog. As I have written, revisited and edited, I have been accompanied throughout by music that I have not 'listened' to for a long time.
So Listen up - this blog is brought to you by the Philip Glass Ensemble, by the Michael Nyman Band, Jeff Lynne's ELO, Elton John and, right now, by The Eagles. But there is so much more to discover and enjoy out there.

I'm listening...!