The shopping centre in the town of Gava has the worst underground car park music in the entire universe. It has the sort of plinky-plonky randomness that makes it impossible to imagine that it was created by any sort of human. The only human part in the musical creation was the nerd who created the sub-standard computer program which produced that cacophony. Though that is not the right word, the music is always soft and tinkly with the hanging chime glissando of metallic irrelevance and it has that New Age awfulness that makes it the perfect music for suicide!
Every time I go there my teeth are set on edge by the insinuating formlessness if the so-called music. Thank god for the proliferation of inexpensive box sets of classical companies selling off their old and not so old backlists!
When I listen to Beethoven, say his 5th Symphony, I can think back and consider all the different forms I have used to listen to it apart from live concerts: radio broadcasts; TV broadcasts; cheap records; cassette tapes; expensive records; CDs; DVDs, and all giving a reasonable listening experience of the written music all of which would not have been available to people like me at the time when Beethoven was writing his music. If you didn’t hear the symphony in the concert hall then your experience of it would have been limited to a piano transcription or buying the printed score. The ready availability of good quality music reproduction must have changed how we respond to music – and the quality of music that we listen to.
Which is why the music in the subterranean car park in Spain is so offensive. There is no excuse for it. We are used to much, much better. Or at least we should be. Music is now so cheap and easy to get hold of. Whatever type of music I want is readily available at the click of a button. Are we more sophisticated listeners nowadays though? When I listen to what young people are listening to, I find it hard to believe. And where the bloody hell did rap come from and having come why did it stay? Perhaps it is something to do with attention span. Watch television and see how many seconds a normal shot lasts. Look at the way that information is streamed at people. As Sleary said in Hard Times, ‘people mutht be amuthed’, by god they must! That is not the same as education!
Today has not felt like a Saturday. Even in the swimming pool, though there were small human life forms around when they are mercifully absent during the week, their pernicious presence was not enough to dispel the week-like feel of the day. The truly retired were playing boules and another group were snapping down dominos and the bored housewives were doing their pointless dance steps to thumping music. The only important thing was that I had a lane to myself – everything else is detail.
Though I do like days to feel like themselves and I am still not entirely sure why today didn’t. But such speculation is as nothing compared to the fact that I have seen another watch. I know that my watch buying has now reached the proportions of an obsession, but it hardly an addiction to cocaine so I fail to be intimidated by the fact that some people only own a single watch. I can type things like that, but they have absolutely no meaning in my world. The latest little object of desire is another Kenneth Cole creation. This time it is a day, date, second hand, waterproof etc. and automatic with a semi skeleton showing the movement and a glass back (a detail I have never understood, who looks?), it also has a leather strap, but that is something I am used to and they are specially treated to be worn for swimming and all the time without rotting on the wrist. Sounds as if I have already bought it. But it is too expensive for an impulse buy. And there is, of course no possible reason or excuse to buy it. Tempting isn’t it!
Tomorrow our long delayed lunch with Irene. I must remember the stuffed vine leaves and a bottle of Cava. Always-acceptable calling cards!