On Headphones

More from "The Recording Angel"

Headphones ... suggest that the kingdom of music is within you.

"So I got the Walkman and it just made me psychopathic, you know time disappeared and space disappeared and I could just do music all the time." (Nina)

"If you're walking down the street or riding a bus, having a nice time listening to music, you are not going to worry about whether your shoes are scuffed, whether you're being polite to the bus driver, whether you're jostling the guys next to you." (Vivian)

"That fits in with my theory of music listening as self-definition and self-expression; it's your way of refusing to be a social unit for a little while or any other kind of unit besides a listening, enjoying unit that thinks its own thoughts and maps its own emotions." (Nina)

When we hear music we expand to fill available space. This is one reason for the Gulliver feeling we get, a feeling of monstrous sensitivity- as though our nerves were stretched across the universe - and vulnerability. (Headphones give this feeling instantly, but in a somewhat different form. While it is hard to say whether my self has expanded or the world has imploded, the violent privacy of the experience makes the sense of implosion stronger. Because the music seems to be coming from inside me, it merges with my direct experience of the will. As a result, the music seems to express my feelings at the moment, even when by its nature it ought to be at odds with them. Another result is one Nina noted: I do not seem to be listening to the music as much as playing it.)


Blogger black b said...

i love how the music i'm listening to on headphones sinks in while i'm walking around the city and becomes my personal soundtrack.

baby i'm a staa-aaar! woo!

aw, yeah.

11:40 AM  

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