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In the Forum: Playback Listening
In the Thread: Playing music for visitors.
Post Subject: Playing music for visitors.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 1/27/2006

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During the course of the last few years I’m developing a distaste to play music for my visitors.

I remember in past it was, if not fascinating, but I would say intriguing to have a person over and to spend a few hours to play music for him or very rarely for her (actually “her” happened only twice). It was in a way fascinating to see how deferent people react to different music or how difference audio minded people react to the different results of sound reproduction. I used sometime my playback as an experimental playground to try some different things on my visitors and it was fun, well, soft of fun… (One of the mast remarkable episodes was when I played an LP to some like of Audiogon hoodlum and he did not get after listening the entire cut my TT played 45RPM instead of 33RPM, hey - what do you know – the guy loved the sound!!!)

Then I begin to develop a sense of incredible boredom when I played my hi-fi for my visitors. The visitors never brought any music with them that I would consider worth to listen and even if they did then the visitors very fast refused to listen their material and asked me for my music. So, I played mine. However, “my music”, in context of audio visitors, always has a strange dual meaning.

There is “my music” that I might play for the people who visit me.  It is not necessarily the hi-hi-affective music (well, yes it is in a way) but good music that, because of the multiple composite reasons, should be liked by the people, including the satisfying their audio objectives. Still, I never listen those recording when I am do my own private listening. Then, there is the real “my music”, or the music that I pull out of my shelf for myself when I am home alone. It hard to explain what kind music it is. It is nothing spacial but it is something the interests me.

He is the catch: it is practically imposable to play this “private music” for my visitors. It is not that they do not like it but even if they do like it, then they do it because of the different reasons. I tried again and again to inject into the sequence of the typical “demo” music that I play for my visitors, one or two selections from my “private music stock”. The visitors bypass it or they “like it” but always the very different reasons then I do.

Defiantly we all different and we all appreciate the different things in musicality. However, it is my home, my playback and my spent time…. Still, I do not mind to play mystic to the people who visit me but while I do it I feel very-very bored. Furthermore, I know that there are some methods and some techniques that make my playback to have some “reproductive bias” towards “my music” and turn it’s back to “not my music”.  So, for a while I keep tailoring my system to what I need and what would benefit “my music” instead of what make my playback “generally better”….

The biggest satisfaction and the biggest gratification I ever experienced from my playback (in context of my visitors) were those very seldom moments what visitors were people with great audio intelligence and with great music understanding. It was literally few times ever but it was phenomenal! You have a person which whom you could discuss some abstract deep moments of AUDIO INTERPRETATION OF MUSICAL INTENTIONS and juts for sake of illustration you pull a record from your shelf. Suddenly you recognize the person’s complied understanding (without explanations) of WHAT you are demonstrating by playing this given performance. Furthermore, the person, embracing the demonstrated conception, begin to develop the concept further on, basing his thoughts upon the musical fragments that will be yet playing in a few minutes within this performance. With those types of visitors it is possible do not even listen music but to name the specific aspects of playback and the specific performance…. Still, listening with them, is like a reading each other novels, where the affords of the playbacks and the forces of the interpretations open the doors for mutual and self exploration of who we are…

Unfortunately, the intelligent visitors are extremely infrequent and whoever I accustom to have along are just  the “sound catchers”… I appreciate my audio only when I am alone and I do not think that serious audio might be a social involvement. The serious high-end is really a mater of a private relationship between a person and his perception via the opportunities music offers for us. Could the “intruders” share it?

Romy the Cat

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