A woman I met last weekend asked me a question: “What you do for own pleasure, Romy?” In response I ran with her my standard “talk to women” Feline Psychiatrist scenario but with all seriousness - the question how to name what I do is not so simple.
I kind of do audio but “doing audio”, despite that it takes considerable amount of my time and efforts, is NOT true the subject of my pleasure. I stated many times that if I had an opportunity to outsource all my audio needs to professionals, who were able to facilitate their services at the demanded level and to whom I might pay off their contribution into my objectives, then I would gladly did it and never practice the Applied Audio in the format I do. So, to me my entire journey into the word of those plate voltages, horns profiles, phase alignments, VTA adjustments, quality of detector diodes, bypass capacitors and sampling rater conversions is no more than building a cable car facility for a person who is willing to ski. So, what is my pleasure, and how to name what I do?
Shall the be answers be: I do music listening? Well, not really.
I always mentally differentiate my audio interests and my musical interests. I know many people would find it stupid and incorrect but they just sell to themselves the BS that they are willing to subscribe in order to feel themselves better, or in most cases: in order to keep the crap that they sale movable. In reality I feel that my musical interests, even though they have a lot of intersection with my audio interests, are truly separate domain of my awareness. I always use a visualization of me returning home and discovering that my home is burned to ground and only The Cat is wondering atop the of smoldering charcoals. Obviously my audio practice and audio interests would cease to exist then but would it have an impact to my musical interests? It would certainly not going to be an event for my musical interests with the exception of me develop even more interest in the ironic part of our lives. So, with all my fictional desire to present myself as some kind of “music devotee” , or as music servant who use the means of audio and whose specialty and pleasures are just music listening, I clearly recognize that it would not be correct in my case.
What I answered to that woman was that I am a Collector. She asked a following question: what do I collect and I replied that she would not understand it. She became bitchy and intrigued but I left “as is” as I did not feel that she was attractive enough to explain to her anything further.
If to insist in further explanations then it might become a bit intricate as the identification of the subjects/objects of my Collection is something that very much describes my interests. I am a Collector and I collect my perceptions of musical events. Musical events, as I recognize them, are not just musical performances, it is more. Musical events are in intricate melt of musical performances, historical circumstances, cultural references and zillion of other little things. However, there is more to it. The fact that a musical event worthy attention took place is not necessary is a sufficient condition to become an item of my Collection. I do not collect musical events but rather I collect my perception of those musical events. Here is where audio, as an expressive tool of my Collecting practice, comes to existence.
I have to admit that I am a selfish man and for me value of my perception is more vital than the value of the event itself. I am very much fascinated with my own mind’s ability to be genius or idiotic and the interpretive refractive divergences of my perception are very much valuable and in a way is entertaining to me. Here is where Audio becomes an instrument – audio is in a way a prism that accepts a raw musical event and path it through interpretively with a respect to how I would like to perceive this event.
I have to admit also that in many ways my demands for audio expressivity have a lot of to do with my creative egocentrism and my personalized collecting of musical events is my way to project my own artistic capacity to the magnitude of collective creativity of the people who came before me. In a way I vampirerize expressed musicality of others but at the same time I with my “audio-interpretive views” am engaged in a process of collaboration with composers and musicians. They have own tools of expressivity, I have mine. The collecting of recognitions of audio interpretation is what I do and how I define high-end audio. I do recognize the introvertual nature of my audio interests and have no problems with it. I do also recognize that I have very little interest in what other audio people do. It looks like they use amplifiers, speakers, cables, turntables, and other tools that I use but I do not feel any demanding discrimination or any higher sense of actions in the activities of most of audio people I know. So, “others” and me are basically practice very different “hobbies” and frankly I am very much annoyed by existence most of the “others”.
What is very interesting is that the actual practicing of my audio interests is not about soldering amps and crossovers, listening live or recorded music or learning about musical events. The true audio practicing of mine is about discovery and recognition within myself some enigmatic paradigms that have well-defined harmonic presentations and the facilitating my practical ability to manage those discoveries and recognitions…
Sure, it would be too complicated to explain all of it to a woman I met last weekend but it also too complicated to explain it to many audio Morons who practice audio for 35 years and do it for purely zombianic, semi-psychotic and unconsciousness reasons. I am sure that most of those who even read this post, since I did not make them to buy a new speaker, did not convince them to lower pate voltage and to did not insist to run a cartridge with sharper VTA, would not even consider my post as something that is audio-related. Well, did you see me to care?
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche