Noises Off: Day 2 of living without extraneous sound (or audio-fast as a wise and brilliant friend described it)
The morning silence is the best bit, I find. It gives me the space to let out all the random fragments of song that have collected over the night (this morning: Native New Yorker) without weaving them in with all the other thoughts that have accumulated over the course of the day, the Breakfast news, alarm sounds and 6 Music. To be honest, it’s rather like singing flat out in a sparsely populated concert hall and therefore quite awkward. I hear the song, I try to offer it lodging, but ultimately it just peters out of its own accord.
Subsequently, all songs sound strange and ridiculous to me. In the Co-Op, Bobby Womack and Damon Albarn seem a mightily dramatic accompaniment to buying vinegar and tampons. If I genuinely stop and listen, it is absurd.
Likewise, the man opposite me on the train plugged in and closed his eyes, as if dozing off at the start of a long flight. Which in a way he is. If we’re unhappy with our predicament, music is a means of escape or at least a distancing and if we’re feeling good, it simply highlights our mood. But for me, music is a conduit – how much do I really hear on the way to the mindset where I want to be? Not much, it would appear, as I’m beginning to appreciate the other soundtrack a lot more; the whine of the train engine, the clink the wheels make over parts of the track which seem less secure, this reminds me where I am. Which is not too bad a place, in fact, certainly no worse than in the Co-Op with Bobby Womack.