Friday, March 19, 2010

Unplugged

No, I'm not talking about wall outlets or playing accoustic versions of all my hits, I'm talking about earbuds, speakers, etc...

I just came back from an errand to the local store. Like always, I had my iPod in my pocket and earbuds ready to stick in my ears. I was tempted to pop the little things in my ears and scroll through the music and podcasts to listen to while I walk.

This time, I hesitated...

Don't know whether it was a result of listener fatigue or the fact that it's a beautiful sunny day here in Vancouver with the birds chirping, cherry blossoms in bloom and signs of Spring everywhere. Regardless, something convinced me to just walk down the sidewalk without any artificial auditory stimulus to entertain me on the way.

I live with music or some sort of audio soundtrack playing at anytime. I live and breath audio pretty well every waking hour of my days. It's either me playing/writing music, listening to music, interacting with my family, etc... There's always something auditory going on.

I found the few blocks to and from the store "au naturelle' to be invigorating and refreshing. I found myself listening to the sounds in the neighbourhood - really listening to what's going on in the world immediately around me.

Instead of being bored, I quite enjoyed the randomness and unexpected things that reached my ears. I also found myself creating and revising music snippets in my head based on the sounds and rhythms from around me. If I could have somehow recorded all that ... well that would have been cool.

Anyway, I thought it was this kind of thing ... taking away the "conveniences" we have grown to rely on to entertain ourselves that turns into a touchstone for breaking out of the mold and seeing things in a fresh perspective:

Getting out of my normal routine, watching the breeze in the trees, smelling the flowers and listening to the birds sing...

2 comments:

Derek said...

Funny, I was thinking of writing a blog post on the very same topic. I noticed I was getting further and further behind listening to podcasts on my iPhone, and then realized it was because when I'm out and about, I'm choosing not to plug in the earphones, but instead to listen to the world around me for a change. And I'm liking it.

Plus, the iPhone permits other distractions, like updating Twitter, that can while away the time if I'm waiting in line somewhere, and yet I can remain aware of the sounds around me, and stop to talk to a checkout clerk without having to stop playback, remove earbuds, etc.

David Schober said...

I "hear you" my friend! I run a lot, and almost always with my iPod giving me good inspiration to keep going. However, there are times when I'll leave it behind and enjoy the beauty of the natural sounds of the world.

It's so easy to make the default to have music constantly, but when I don't, I do enjoy it