I constantly complain that the majority of audio people have corrupted listening culture. The last time I was bitching about it in the article “Remote control - the ultimate enemy.” However, the remote control is juts one of the tools of corruption. The major reasons of the completely screwed listening practice of majority of audiophiles are thier primitive internal musical objectives.
Most of people who do audio do not listen the content of recording, the essential core – the musicality but they rather expose themselves to sonic sequential irritations and instead of listening of Sound they listen to the sounds. However, juts sounds have not connectively or a reason to sound and therefore most audio people do not listen the musical movements or macro-musical semantics but they listen the sonic effect, the phraseologic expressiveness of musicality of the musical phonetics. Nevertheless since music is not about the external expressiveness the audio people feel satisfied by listing juts the certain fragments of musical peaces. As the result, the listening sessions with audiophile are torture because they just rush across sonic material, garbing from music juts superficial 2-3 minutes fragments. You will see hardly ever an audio person who would listen a musical peace form beginning to the end. If you do see this person then s/he would hardly talk with you about the cable elevators or about cones under a DA converter….
Most of the audiophiles do not celebrate the played peaces even when there are all conditions to celebrate them. They juts are not tuned internally and can’t activate within themselves the mode when everything stop and the process of listening begins. Some people eat, drink, talk or just sit on front of the loudspeakers. Most of them sit in front of the speakers and search for “familiarity” among sounds but they do not really listen music. When I play music for those people I always know where they are it is always a great pleasure if my listener is a “real”. The “real” listeners listen the entire musical pieces. I have in my home some audio people who listen first 10-15 seconds of EACH musical peace and it is enough for them. To play music for those people is torture.
A couple days ego a have a guy in my home and we spent the entire day of listening. The person insisted to listen EACH movement I played from beginning to the end. He did not really insisted but he did nothing that encouraged me to abandon the playing. Over the entire day there was only two pleases that he asked me to stop and it was because he did not like the performance. All the rest time the guy was listening to the end whatever it was. I actually shamefully begin to undersize the peaces because I would like to play something different… bad me… It was the very first time when I saw an audio-industry guy who actually listened in the way that did not make me feel bad for my wasted time. Another wonderful example of very high listening culture coming form the industry folks is visiting Brian Cheney. Each time I visit him during the CES those guys stop all their normal CES concerns and give themselves completely up the listening celebrations. Thier room is the place where you can bring an entire collection of Shostakovich’s string quartets and they will listen them until the last accord. It is really glamorous atmosphere with them and it is a great privilege to listen music among those people (and it is during the audio show conditions!!!)
I would like to give to the audio freaks out there an advice how to learn to listen the musical movements to the very end, without interruption. Start to listen the live broadcasts (not to mention going go the Symphony Halls). The live broadcasts could not be interrupted and you will be “forced” to spent next 45 minutes of your life by actually listing music. I assure you that your playback installations very soon begin to sound better.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche