What a strange discovery. Rediscovery. Left and right. That fundamental aural effect. Had been lost for me over many years. Somehow. And having a stereo experience in an open room is fundamentally different than plugging in two bluetooth rubber thingies into your ears. Earphones are the sound minus the room.
But the room, oh, the room is breathing!
I love music, can never be without. When the house settles down for the night, music starts to play. New music, old music, mixes, or straightforward albums or artists. Yesterday it was all evening my “Can Always Hear” playlist, consisting of 6-months-not-played four & five star songs. Today I started on the way to work with the Radiohead catalogue on random, or shuffle as we Apple aficionados say. Continued on my way home later and then continued half an hour ago.
Over the years, I made the move—probably familiar to you old-stylers—from vinyl to CD to MP3 to Streaming. With the raise of not only streaming content but also streaming-based hardware, in my case SONOS equipment, I somehow ended up with only a single speaker device for the last four years or so. Yesterday, I received two new speakers, which I now can pair to a stereo configuration. Back to real stereo!
And man, what an effect this has on my listening experience! All evening I am doing the Command-L thing on my iTunes that brings me to the currently played song in my media library. And I find myself constantly adjusting my personal song ratings, especially on those Radiohead deep cuts that heard from on the single-device never made that much of an impression to me. But today, the Radiohead wall of sound, seemingly coming from all directions, makes every song a listening event.
I had such a very similar sensory flashback a few years ago, when I cooked one of my mother’s old meals and at first taste, I literally felt back at my parent’s kitchen desk. A very intense feeling, not of the everyday kind, a mix of home, warmth, regret, sadness. And this time, listening in real stereo mode, it was similar. Laying in bed, the stereo speakers of my first hifi equipment left and right of my ears (Philips tube-driven amp, Dual record player and no-name two-way loudspeaker’s, self-assembled), totally lost in the White Album. Or in any Pink Floyd record. A time transport back into 1977.