Friday, 28 September 2007

Full time music can be irritating

Right. Time to be a one of the grumpy old men. A cottage not far from mine is having its roof sorted out by the sound of it judging by the banging going on and also the presence of the local roof specialist's trucks. I'm assuming this because the cottage concerned is down a little side track not readily visible from this spot because of the volume of vegetation twixt them and me. Now the banging of course is unavoidable, building work just is a noisy activity, but it seems that builders like many others today can't function without the obligatory musical accompaniment. And it's not just tradesmen repairing a house, even some of the relatively small shops in nearby Tavistock pump out this supposed music while you are there - the 'Superdrug' store was a culprit when I visited to get some toothpaste the other day. The sort they play is the least melodic imaginable with words that can't be understood. Is it purely for the benefit of the young shop assistants I wonder? Whatever it's irritating and I can't wait to get out!

Now I've blogged before about the never ending cacophony of sound that one receives at times. And this is where I come to what I consider to be a key need in life, and that's 'contrast'. As I have said before in these ramblings I'm very fond of music. However I'm also passionate about the joy of silence. What I'm trying to say is that when the mood dictates I love to listen to music and when I say listen I mean listen properly. And the contrast with times of silence is a factor that makes music special. Again when music is being played exchanging a few words once in a while is just about OK but having a protracted conversation with someone is not something I like to do.

In a nutshell for me at least I'm happier when I concentrate on a specific activity and that activity becomes even better when it's in marked contrast to others. This concentration thing applies to walking as well as I normally prefer to either walk alone or with a single companion with a shared interest. If with a party of ramblers one inevitably is socialising with someone to be friendly (nothing wrong with that of course) but it dilutes ones appreciation of what is around you at the time. For many people today their day to day lives are too much of the same, not enough contrasts and this is partly why they get so desperate for that fortnight in Tenerife!

Reverting to music I had another 'fix' yesterday evening when once again I went to listen to the 'Calstock Rubber Band' who I've praised before. I shared the pleasure with American friends of mine in the village who seldom miss the opportunity to listen to this vibrant music and this time they brought with them another American couple (long time friends staying with them). Our amiable visitors enjoyed the experience never having listened to anything quite like it on the other side of the pond. And that's another theme of mine - when you visit another country you must sample some of the local culture, it seems such a waste going otherwise. Back to having contrasts in your life I guess and developing ones understanding of other people.

I think that's enough of my philosophy today!

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