Before you read this post, I just want to say that I have had more time on my hands than what I am used to, and as a consequence, little things that most take for granted such as listening to music, became a real novelty. This was one of those moments. Please bare with me. [Feb 6, 2006]
To sit down and actually listen to music has being a bit of a novelty for me in the last decade. But to really sit and listen to it, rather than having it as background music, or 110 decibels blasting in front of your face at a dance, has being a long time coming. Last night, blowing the dust off from my CDs after searching for an hour for the remote to the CD player, I played some random CDs buried inside the CD carousel. Rather than looking inside the CD player to replace the CDs inside, I thought I would just sit and listen to whatever was already loaded. It had being so long since I used the machine that I completely had no idea what was going to play–this was the mystery. But I was ready to sit and just listen: this was a conscious decision I had made to myself–come pain or enjoyment, I was going to spend this time to listen. What happened next was, after some conscious thought, was the moment of inspiration because I then realized that my attention to music had never changed over the last 20 years, it had actually widen to the point that I could now see beyond the notes played and percussion sound beating out the rhythms, there was a power there where I never seen power before.
Once passed the studio production work and the plain words that make up the lyrics, I found that the true talent was what lay between the notes and beats, it was in the arrangements of sounds as the song played that made me listen with intensity. I could really hear the sounds of the voices that were recored, leaving the volume low, at socially unacceptable levels, I just focused on the singing sounds of the human voice. I then realized just how complex the human voice really is. The range, intensity, the booming timbrel qualities and dynamics, made me site in awe as each song played out.
The CDs that were stacked inside my CD player were mostly those of female entertainers, musicians and far off talent that seemed to span from the 60s to artistes of the new millennium. There was a 40 year span of music here and each song that played in it’s preprogrammed arrangement had no logical order that I could piece together. I tried to recall who made this list of songs and why that someone would wanted this arrangement in the first place–could it have been me? It was a peculiar arrangement because of the vast differences in genre: hard rock to soft-spoken solo musicians. It then hit me while into the fifth song as to who made this list. I recalled, when my then 12 year old niece, who was striving to become a vocalist-musician, wanted this song arrangement so that she could imitate the artists and use it a practice play-list. These were her favorites–songs that she inspired to sing herself four years ago. Yes, that is how long ago since I last played my household CD player.
Well, after listening to the entire play-list of 14 songs that repeated itself, I then realized that I have a warm attachment to Suzanna Vega’s voice. Strange eh? She sort of reminded me of the “promo-girl” from CBC radio one. Funny how a particular recorded voice invokes images and emotions? I wonder what Sigmund Freud would of said?