I’ve heard two references to headphones this week. The first was in an interview with Kate Rusby, the acclaimed folk singer (I went to hear her in concert last week, she was great). In the interview, Kate said that whilst all her school-friends were into rock and heavy rock music, she would sit with her headphones on listening to some folk fiddle playing; blocking out the mainstream, to hear the music she has real passion for.
The second reference to headphones was about the new release by the American musician, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist Beck. You can’t buy Beck’s latest release as a CD, not even as an LP – it is available only in musical notation form. Basically, it’s a song-book. My copy arrived today and it is beautiful. On an interview on the radio this morning about the release, the presenter said this approach is probably an attempt to ‘re-socialise’ music making; to fight back against the ‘me and my music’ culture where listening to music has become a solo rather than ensemble activity.
It is ironic that Kate Rusby used headphones so she could listen to folk – it must be one of the most social forms of music there is. As for me, I shall enjoy the social act of music making and discovering Beck’s new songs.