You can't live your life to the beat

steamDon't do it, son. Don't make your life run to a boom-shikka-boom soundtrack. Be part of the world. Engage the world. Live the world.

We are developing into a community that cannot stand silence. In our house music plays when we want to listen to it for pleasure, and the rest of the time we have quiet. But so many people cannot live with this. There must be music in the house, car, elevator, shop, street and public transport.

Now of course people take their own music everywhere they go with the ubiquitous iPod. And nothing matches the mindless babbling horror of commercial radio. That stuff rots your brain. Nobody can work to that and do a good job. If the radio's on, go somewhere else - you aren't going to get intelligent service.

So mnay people miss experiencing the sounds of the street or the sounds of nature or the glorious sound of silence. Some of my greatest life experiences include:

  • Lying in a field in Zanskar watching the sun set over impossible mountains while listening to Dire Stratits on a borrowed Walkman.
  • Hearing Jimi Hendrix for the first time while lying in a beanbag between two tower speakers at volume 10.
  • Assorted concerts from George Thoroughgood ot Neil Young to Bowie to...

But other unforgettable experiences also include:

  • The roar of Manhatten for the first time
  • Listening to the howl of the wind over Mount Feathertop in Victoria Australia
  • Shouting to my own echo from Mt Hamilton in the Southern Alps of NZ
  • Water, anywhere. Waterfalls, rapids, tiny tricking streams in the grass, rain, the awesome thunderous surf of New Zealand's West Coast.
  • The perfect silence of the Australian desert at night being shattered by the scratch of a little beatle climbing a stone near my head.

The world is much too wonderful to pipe something else into your ears every minute of the day. Listen to music for the experience, for the pleasure, for the treat. Then turn it off and live.