Monday, March 27, 2017

The consequences of personal headspaces

For most of human history, music was a communal activity. All of the people in a particular room or small area would listen to the same music.

But over the last few decades, that has begun to change.

By Adamantios - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

As a result of this little invention, coupled with other items such as Walkmans and smartphones, a dozen people in a room may be listening to a dozen different things - and thus living in a dozen different headspaces.

This hit me over the weekend while I was out walking in my neighborhood, iPhone in my pocket, earphones in my ears. (This was not an iPhone 7, so such a configuration does not require workarounds.) From my perspective, I was walking down the sidewalk, and my ears were filled with the sound of Ladytron's "White Elephant." From the perspective of the gentleman in the front yard I was passing, he was standing in the grass, and his ears were filled with the sound of the water in his water hose.

But what if he had also been wearing earphones? (Watering the yard can be drudgery at times.) We would have an aural (rather than a visual) case of differing perspectives. My Helen Marnie would be his Robert Plant or whatever.

I've been thinking about headphones a lot lately, since the Ontario Emperor project is emerging as a "headphones" type of project. I don't think that I'll be performing "Bare Plate" in a live venue any evening soon - even if Renee Myara is singing along.

So what type of personal headspace am I creating for my listeners?
blog comments powered by Disqus