We live amidst constant noise.
There’s the immediate distraction of noise local to your person. Landscapers clean the neighbors yard across the street, their back-mounted blowers creating a quiet hum floating outside and above me in my office. The rumble-roar of the UPS truck delivering packages in the afternoon. The muted din of electronics that is a constant in our world – air conditioners, lights, computers, cell phones and laptops all buzz and hum along with a regular pulse – and, invades even the quietest spaces.
Then there is the sensory overload that is the internet. I find myself in a battle, constantly vacillating between unplugging and binging on the unending stream of content. Of course, it is – most times – a focused stream. Music and audio, mostly. Rock n roll and DACs. Amps and speakers. Vinyl and glass. Jazz and tubes – those lovely, glowing bottles of aural goodness. And, the people who build this stuff?!- fascinating. Engineers can be artful, and, I am humbled by their intelligence and inventiveness.
How to avoid losing myself in this onslaught…this is something I consider often. I find myself embracing the pattern these days, and it helps. I spend some time – days, weeks, months – consuming information about my current interest. Then, I unplug and make something – if all goes well. If not, I tell myself this is all research for my next project, and not a distraction from all that I’d like to avoid. Of course it isn’t.
Music, I find, is the only thing that quiets the voices. Keeps the world at bay. Music has the ability to stop time, or at least alter it momentarily. When you’re in that moment, grooving to a tune, you are outside of time. It can be an ecstatic experience.
I consider my pursuit of high end audio a path to illumination. Grand! The finer the sound, the closer I am to connecting. Right? Mostly it’s about rocking balls.
Here’s the thing: I think the ecstatic experience has as much to do with my frame of mind as it does anything. I can get caught up in a song in the Jeep – and there’s nothing high end there.
So, what then? I believe it to be a combination of many things, and like any kind of meditation or intense, extended focus, getting there takes practice.
I’ve too many distractions, you see. I got caught up in this crazy world. Busyness.
Audio is my way of slowing down – being in the moment. Being quiet. The music is loud. I am not. Good. The gear is the vehicle for this experience.
My point? No idea.
I humbly submit that you go, put a record on, and simply listen all the way through. I will if you will.