Saturday, 21 November 2009

No Music Day

You know, the life of a blogger can be hard sometimes. Thinking up a new subject every few days and then writing about it in a witty and informative style can be a bit trying when the rest of your life is in a bit of a tizz, and you don’t get paid for it! So I am indebted to one of my faithful readers, Alan, who has alerted me to the following website, which claims to be supporting a 5 year plan to have 21st November named ‘No Music Day’, 2009 being the final year of the plan.

The fact that I’ve never heard of it during the period 2005 to 2008 doesn’t say much for the success of the campaign but nevertheless, it is worth a thought. The site lists a whole load of rules that apply on No Music Day but essentially no one is allowed to play, listen to, make, distribute or generally deal in music for 24 hours.

For me, the thought of not listening to music is a bit of a killer and may require chocolate biscuits but the concept of not playing or making any seems a bit draconian and indeed nebulous to me – for example, does that include not drumming your fingers on the desk or humming tunelessly without realising it? I think the policing of these proposals could be a tad tricky. How do you stop people ‘thinking’ music?

Nevertheless, on reflection, there are one or two benefits that occur. One is to stop all music playing in public places. So no music in shopping malls, hotel toilets, lifts or restaurants and definitely no music blaring at you when you are forced to hold on the telephone for hours on end. This I can identify with as there is nothing more demeaning to a great piece of music than to have it forced on uninterested listeners in inappropriate places whilst they are doing something else (press 7 if you never want to listen to Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ ever again…). I have long bridled against this sort of music-as-wallpaper idea. It’s just not respectful of art.

The second benefit would be to stop builders, postman and tradespersons generally whistling tunes as a) it is a hideous noise and b) they never get the melody quite right or keep swapping keys which is even more galling. You feel like grabbing them by the throat and saying, ‘NO, NO, NO, it goes like THIS!!’

So, as usual, I am sitting on the fence here and going for a partial solution whereby 21st November becomes ‘No Music in Public Day’. This means I can carry on as usual without all that public broadcasting nonsense. Sorted.

PS Don't forget that my book, 'Memoirs of a Muisc Obsessive' is still available through Amazon to solve the problem of all those difficult-to-buy-Christmas-presents-for friends and relations!


bearockr said...

I do agree with you on the first paragraph... picking up new topics to write each day is really difficult for me too as a blogger, but then rock is full of excitement and its fun to jot down your views for others to read them , and observing a no music day seems really impossible to me ! Its quite a big punishment actually ! hehe

musicobsessive said...

Hi Bearockr. Looks like you and me will be in the resistance :) Actually, writing every day is a bit beyond me - I struggle to get a post out every 6/7 days! But like you say, rock's rich tapestry always manages to provide some inspiration.

Alan said...

I wondered what you may have to say on this topic.

I originally read about the idea in a newspaper (ie actually on paper not on a screen). The fact that it was Bill Drummond of KLF notoriety who is behind the idea instantly kickstarted my inbuilt scepticism. However, I did sympathise with his view that music should have some sense of occasion and be actively listened to, rather than passively heard.

I am guilty of the latter, mostly travelling on the train to/from work but I use the excuse that my iPod means I don't have to listen to the faint scratchings of other people's iPods or half of a mobile phone conversation. Not for nothing do I refer to my iPod as the "moron blocker".

Despite all that, I do look forward to the times when I can sit down and actively listen to some music without trying to do something else.

So, I think I am in favour of No Music Day in the same way you are - block out the aural wallpaper provided to fill in any gaps in our lives but leave us the chance to listen actively to music of our choice.

musicobsessive said...

Hi Alan! Looks like we agree :)

Actually, I would say that ipod listening is OK as you have chosen the time, place and selection. It is the enforced and generally unwanted nature of all these things that is the bane of life today. I may love say, Duffy's 'Warwick Avenue' but not when I am forced to listen to it in the supermarket.