Street Talk / July '08....


Hello all.

I got this idea so I'll see if it flies here. Every so often I'd like to post a topic that kind of reflects some of my literal "all over the place" meanderings (I'm a Global/Concrete says my wife) and hopefully there's enough substance to it to inspire some useful dialog amongst the membership here. We'll see....

"WE HEAR WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO US"

I’m working on the computer and focused only on the task at hand…it’s important. The wife is doing....something. Lynn comes over and announces her announcement.

Lynn: I like these lawn chairs, do you? I think they would look nice around where I want to take out that tree that’s dying. I’ll have Jonny take that tree out tomorrow and then I’ll put some Geraniums and shrubs around there too. I’m going to the garden center now. I’ll be back by 4:00 so we can have dinner with the Pates at Roscoe’s. I told Walter so he knows when he gets home from work he has school to do before he goes anywhere tonight so I can grade his work in the morning.

Robert: Yea.

An hour later…

Robert: Jonny, where’d Mom go?

Two hours later…

Lynn: You about ready for dinner?

Robert: What? What are we doing?

Two and a half hours later…

Walter: Dad, I’m taking Marie out to the movie tonight. I’ll be home by 10:00

Robert: Is your school work done? It needs to be done before you go anywhere. You mean 10:00 PM…tonight, right?

Walter: I didn’t know it needed to be done tonight. Can’t I do it in the morning?

Robert: Weren’t you listening when your Mom said…

Three days later…

Robert: What happened to the tree? Where did the flowers and shrubs come from? I like those chairs. I didn’t know we had them.

Lynn: Weren’t you listening when I…

We hear more clearly what's important to us. Put another way, if something is not very important to us, we're less stimulated or sensitive to it. Especially when it’s contrasted against something we’re experiencing that is important to us…no?

Our experience of music is much the same way. Music impacts each of us in different ways and for different reasons. Sometimes it’s the words that are most important. Sometimes it’s how music sounds that's most important. Other times, it makes little difference whether a song is heard on a car radio or a full blown high end rig – it’s reminding us and calling up an emotion of a moment in the past or capturing and anchoring a moment in the present.

I love the Beatle’s music. Ask me the lyrics of any of their songs and, for the most part, I can’t tell you. It’s very hard for me to “hear” lyrics in any music. I get too caught up in how the music goes and how the vocals (not the words themselves) go with the music. I like certain chords and arrangements more than others. Rhythms, patterns, dynamics, timing, melodies and harmonies and such contribute to how music resonates or becomes memorable for me. What is it for you? It may be much different than what’s important to someone else.

There are certain aspects of music and reproduced music’s sound that catches our attention and keeps it. It pleasantly engages us. It’s what we become sensitive to and what becomes important to us. Some of us want more bass, some of us want less bass. Some of us like a more analytical sound while others of us prefer a smoother sound…more detailed vs. more warmth. More intellectual vs. more emotional. I think I just said the same thing four different ways. How do you hear what you hear? Can you define it? Is that latter even important? (I say yes if you want to nail down a personally satisfying music system.) How have you educated yourself? Which way describes what’s important to you? Is one right and one wrong? I used to think so.

Over the years, with the help of Steve and others, I hope I’ve learned that the value of a broad base of experiences of different audio systems and gear is not about strengthening my position on what I think is “right” and what I think is “wrong” or even what I think is accurate. I own a pair of Reference 3As and have heard some say they’re not accurate. That may be but I know what they do and a lot of what they do is important to me. It’s like after a concert I’ve been to. I come away saying "Man, that music was right!" or "Whew! That sure was accurate!" NOT! How 'bout "Man! That was good!". Have you ever noticed how sterile "right" seems to be in most things when compared to the impact "good" has on anyone or anything? How often do we come away from an evening of listening to music and say "Man! That was good!" or are we stewing over if the system is accurate, musical, too this or that or whatever other adjective we can intellectually ascribe to our system?

If you desire to come away from an evening of music and say "Man!...." and you're not, how come? Have you missed what's really important? Do you know what's really important to you to let the music reach you? Many times I bet, if my personal assesment has taught me anything, it's not a system thing. On the other hand, sometimes it just is a system thing - LOL! But come on guys...at the level of gear we're playing at, it's really fairly darn hard to have playback that blows. So the question I have to ask myself is "What's up with that?" (1995: Thanks Steve)

I trust I’ve learned and continue to learn how to expand and appreciate differences or what’s important for another enthusiast. I certainly have my personal preferences of what I want from my system that may not match anothers. But having learned to appreciate other systems and gear, even though they don’t reflect my preferences, has enabled and continues to enable me to add to and refine my own preferences without making others wrong. Making another “Audio Brother” wrong because his system doesn’t sound like “yours” or making an “Audio Brother” overly revered simply because he had the latest and greatest last month and now has the latest and greatest this month is not good. Whatever we can learn and however we can enhance our connection to the music is good. For that to happen, I think it’s important that we learn what’s important musically or sound wise from our own personal experiences and learn to experience and appreciate what's important to others. Then, if we desire, we can expand on what’s important to us personally and find a way to incorporate that into our system. The end result: A perfect system? Na. An excellent system. And you know what’s fun?....Excellence can be (and usually is) a dynamic journey. Perfection is an unattainable static destination. Probably a whole topic in this but…

I’m working on the computer and focused only on the task at hand…it’s important. The wife is doing....something. Lynn comes over and announces her announcement.

Lynn: I like these lawn chairs, do you? I think they would look nice around where I want to take out that tree that’s dying. I’ll have Jonny take that tree out tomorrow and then I’ll put some Geraniums and shrubs around there too. I’m going to the garden center now. I’ll be back by 4:00 so we can have dinner with the Pates at Roscoe’s. I told Walter so he knows when he gets home from work he has school to do before he goes anywhere tonight so I can grade his work in the morning.

Robert: Yea. I like those chairs too. I’ll make sure there’s gas for Jonny to use the chain saw. You might consider some shrubs that offer some height. Oh good. Thanks for reminding me. I almost forgot about dinner tonight. That’ll be fun…huh?

An hour later…

Robert: Jonny, I want you to hang close 'cause Mom’s gonna be home soon and she might need your help unloading the car.

Two hours later…

Lynn: You about ready for dinner?

Robert: Yea. Give me ten more minutes and I’m ready.

Two and a half hours later…

Walter: Dad, I’m taking Marie out to the movie tonight. I’ll be home by 10:00 tonight. Not tomorrow morning.

Robert: Is your school work done? It needs to be done before you go anywhere.

Walter: Yea, most of it. Mom said I could wait till morning on my science stuff since she wasn’t gonna have time to grade everything.

Robert: You wanna take our car tonight?

Three days later…

Robert: What happened to the tree? This looks better than you made it sound. The shorter shrubs look better than I imagined and I’m glad you thought to get 4 chairs instead the two I assumed you were getting.

Lynn: Ah Honey. Thanks. Let’s go have sex.
(c'mon, Lynn laughed!)

So...all that. Thoughts you'd like to contribute? Somethin' tells me most of you can make better sense and articulate this stuff better than me.

Cheers!

Robert
RSAD
ridgestreetaudio
Thats it?I need more information,Happy Thanksgiving all.....
Your comment about the Beatles and lyrics caught my attention.

For many, many years I paid almost no attention to lyrics. I often wonder if the Beatles had something to do with it. I was a child when the British invasion hit. Beatles everywhere. Every hour you could be guaranteed two or three Beatles songs on the AM radio stations looping through the same top 40 songs of the week every couple of hours. I was at an age when I was becoming musically aware,.... imprinted with the music of the day that follows me still. But it wasn't the lyrics. It was the melodies, the harmonies, the rhythym and, most of all, the beat. There's something primeval and visceral about the beat. Lyrics were not necessary to the enjoyment of the music. And, quite frankly, there wasn't a lot of deep meaning or philosophical insight in "She Loves You" or "I Want to Hold Your Hand" anyway. This only reinforced my developing musical sense that lyrics weren't important.

Years later, sitting around college dorm rooms having late night talks with my friends about anything and everything, I mentioned this. I had some friends who were into Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and they talked about the stories, the philosophy, the meaning of the lyrics. "But it doesn't have that beat that makes you want to get up and dance", I would say. "If I want deep meaning, I'll read a book". "I don't listen to music for words. Good music doesn't need words any more than Macbeth or King Lear needs to be made into a musical!"

Well, I have to admit. Over time, I did start to listen to lyrics a bit, and read the lyrics in the liner notes. I do come across the occasional line or turn of the phrase that is quite poetic. However, I don't go out of my way. It's still the music that moves me. And the lyrics of "She Loves You" still haven't changed as I listen to it.
I'm right with you on the journey. I have moved increasingly towards all instrumental music,my imagination gets time to play and I can relax easier. As my system has gotten better it has become increasingly harder to hear my wifes voice while I'm listening to music. She may be saying something to me right now but A Tribute to Joni Mitchell is on and Elvis Costello sounds so good!