Wednesday, October 17, 2007

iPod versus City (or Beatles to Bruckner)

I recently acquired an iPod. Well, more truthfully my second iPod. The first I bought two years ago to assist with my on-the-go flugelbindery lifestyle. It was a clunky 60 GB model which I used to transport a chunk of my music library rather than the binders full of CDs as we used to do back in the day. In any case, I had seen those small clip-size iPods and finally succumbed to the desire to own one.

The first day was a bit frustrating. The ear buds (as they are now called - earphones or headsets, so passé) kept falling out of my ears. I invested in a more expensive model which stayed in place long enough to test drive them. It was strange. Though I knew otherwise, I thought everyone was looking at me, giving me a knowing glance and passing judgment on music taste. I know the Beatles are very old fashioned, but I happen to like them. Or could it have been because I was unconsciously, step-by-step morphing into one of those wild-haired people in the iPod adverts who gyrates silently to music that only he or she hears? I think not.

The thing is I want to hear the sounds of the city, up to a point at least: conversations of those around me, the mechanical, the banal, the loud, the angry. Up to a point. But if it's a screeching lorry then why not crank up the Fab Four instead? It also turns out that my morning commute is mostly by foot (the Flugelbindery starts up early - 6.30 is not an uncommon time for me to be walking). It's quiet. There is almost no one around except the street sweepers (so charming! in New York the only garbage activity you see on the street are people adding, not subtracting it.) So I was really substituting silence for a bit of pulsating wakeup music.

It was all going as planned till I reached the end of Beatles Greatest Hits. My iPod was in continuous play mode, not shuffle. So what comes after b-e? On my play list b-r, Beatles to Bruckner, from "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" to "Bewegt, nicht zu schnell". Disconcerting to put it mildly.

I also found the music sometimes making me more anxious. While I was negotiating a stressful situation the music would tryi to soothe me, or when I was trying to rev up it would insistently go into a quiet passage. In the end, I suppose I'm just too used to paying attention to music.

So now, more than anything, I'm confused. Is there a perfect playlist out there? Something engaging, but not too much? Something lively, but not too much? Something trendy, but not too much? I'm open to suggestions.

BB

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uhm... the perfect playing list, what a challenging problem. Going from Beatles to Bruckner CAN be a major strain to your nervous system. Now, to your question. I'd say that with the Cinematic Orchestra you can't go wrong. Not that I listen to them on an IPod (don't own one, can't really stand having music shooting directly in my eardrums), but when home, if in doubt, they are the safest bet. If you don't know the Cinematic Orchestra, give them a try.
xxx
Mia

Bombay Beauty said...

In general when I reveal anything about my musical tastes outside classical music, it only shows that I know nothing (or worse, have bad taste). I found Feist very upbeat and relaxing (without being feisty!) I did not know about the Cinematic Orchestra, but it's on my list soon! xoxo BB

Rupa said...

I like the new look. Not sure about the ear buds though. That's what they call q-tips here in India. How about "A--a" as a starting point???

Rupa said...

I like the new look. Not sure about the ear buds though. That's what they call q-tips here. How about "A--a" as a starting point for a playlist?

Anonymous said...

Feist! Yes, she's great. In fact I think I am going to get a cd or two very soon.
Well, the Cinematic Orchestra are different though, and I realize now that it's the kind of music that does ask to be listened to. Not a perfect background music while you're actually interacting with other people. Nevertheless, I think it'd be great on a train journey, whilst looking out of the window.
xxx
Mia

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