|At Barley Clough
||[Aug. 13th, 2008|11:07 am]
The waiting room at the the Barley Clough medical centre is neo-neo-classical- about forty foot high and a bit like a mausoleum or temple. It has a high pitched roof with glass in it and as there are no tall buildings or trees nearby, all you can see if you look up is sky. Today the vapour trails- very high up- were going in one direction and the common or garden clouds- much lower down- in the other. It's a very calming space. I don't know who designed it, but he or she has my gratitutude. |
They had the radio on. I could wish they hadn't. Piped music imposes a mood. And if I'm sitting waiting to see my doctor I don't really want the melancholy, end-of- civilisation-as-we-know-it rock 'n' roll of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers shaping how I feel. Mozart would be better or Andean flute song or tinkling cow bells- something high and thin and mountainous. And I don't need the DJs talking at me through their toothy smiles between tracks.
(I don't own an ipod. I rarely listen to music round the house. If I do it's because I've made a conscious choice. Music is tricky stuff. It comes in when I invite it in, not otherwise.)
There was a poster on the pin board pointing out that the Koran allows sick persons to take their medicines during the Ramadan fast. Instead they can gain merit by feeding the poor. How sensible. And don't binge when you break your fast. Islam frowns on over-eating.
Ailz got into a conversation with the woman sitting opposite about paint and wallpaper and water bills. The woman had once been very beautiful- and was still very beautiful if you think heavy wear and tear deepens beauty- which I do. A small child- belonging to someone else- came and tried to lift the wallpaper rolls- heavy to her as ingots- out of the woman's bag. How amazing to have only just started walking! Of course you have to go everywhere. Of course you have to examine and handle everything.
Your observations are always so alive. If I could eat your blog, I would, I always leave here so well-fed.
Andean music rocks every time. I should love to send you some of the new stuff I got while I was there. What's your e-mail address? I can send a link to my box.net account or leave a comment on your blog.
You don't have an iPod but you do have a computer. Maybe one day you'll feel like inviting the Andes in.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I, too, like to choose my own music and the times to listen to it. Once again I put a long reply to your post, then cut it and pasted it to my own LJ because it's really about me and how I feel about this whole thing. Anyhow, it's another thing I share with you and some of my other LJ friends.
I look forward to reading your post :)
I read that Carl Jung once stood up at a restaurant and unplugged the radio that was playing background music.
Of course, he thought he was Special.
His point was that music should never be for backgrounds, that it should be full-out loud or nothing.
I've been visiting at people's houses when, at dinnertime, there's a chamber group playing fervently in the next room on the stereo, and I always feel rude to ignore them when they're playing their hearts out, even though it's a recording.
Back in the olden days, that's what chamber orchestras did, play at suppertime and get ignored.
Brahms, I understand, played music in a bar when he was young, and he was so good (so it's said) that he could read or do his homework while he played the piano.
That's a good point- that music has always been used as background.
But music is so powerful it manipulates our thoughts and feelings even when we think we're ignoring it. That's what I really object to.
I went off-course from the point you were making--
Last week I bought an MP3 player to take along with me on walks and I realized yesterday that the music was taking over my walking, so that instead of listening to birds I was brooding about the poignancy of human life!