I bow at the feet of Jonathan Ive and the almighty iPod. It has changed the way I listen to music, mostly for the better. And as a New Yorker, I get to take my film music with me wherever I go while it blocks out most of the incessant hustle and bustle of the city. But there are times when I don’t want my music pouring directly into my cerebral cortex.
As a child of the 70s (ugh), I grew up with these things called vinyl and turntables. My first soundtracks got stacked one on top of the other on the turntable spindle, and I would proceed to listen to a single side of one score after another, flip, and repeat with the other side of the stack. I had these mammoth speakers, 2-3 feet tall, that sat on the floor and shook my bedroom walls. My present speakers have shrunk significantly in size and are now mounted on the wall, but nothing compares to the power of my favorite scores belching forth from a good stereo system and an awesome pair of speakers.
A few weeks ago, in a fit of rage, I “accidentally” slammed shut the CD tray on my hand-me-down Bose system, effectively ruining my most powerful tool to listen to CDs in comfort, away from the laptop, which is used more for work than play these days, and the iPod, which mostly functions as background music as I travel from place to place.
That was a bad day.
Occasionally I just want to sit on the couch and have the music pour over me from a distance. I may not hear as many of the details, especially with a fan and the air conditioner running, but the distance gives me some perspective on the music. The air that comes between myself and the sound waves creates depth and life, giving my brain (which I’ll admit seems to be moving slower and slower with each passing day) a chance to process the music on a different level.
Now, I’m not knocking any of the above venues for listening to music. My ability to hear new music would be severely compromised with the demise of even one of them, as demonstrated when I flipped out (over what, who can remember? probably something really insignificant) and broke the Bose CD tray.
A couple of days ago, I decided to give the CDs a spin on my new DVD player, which is also hooked up to the Bose system. DVD players, no matter what the manufacturer tells you, were not meant for playing CDs. I’ve had a lot of problems in the past with old DVD players pausing or skipping while playing a CD.
It’s still not an ideal situation. Some CDs still have problems. But the sound pouring forth from those speakers is once again bringing light to my dark sarcophagus of an apartment. And I can sit or lie on my comfortable couch, close my eyes, and feel the music is once again a part of my home, and not just my workspace or personal headspace.
I’ve only tried a couple of CDs so far. I think it’s time to give John Powell’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (to pick a new score I can’t seem to get enough of) a spin and give those speakers the workout they deserve.