Have just been reading this article with great interest:
Why We Need Audiophiles”,
Fremer seems to have honed his ability to listen to music and sound over his lifetime. No wonder he can easily experience the dull, flatness and soul-sapping sound of MP3 music and even compact-discs. Please read the article to appreciate this.
If you’re into Indian music, you can try a simpler experiment, that costs zero in any currrency.
First, listen to a live amplification of a tabla, or a rudra veena. Then go close and listen to it unplugged, without any mics or equipment. The difference is astounding. I’ve often challenged my students to try and create a faithful recording of a didjiridoo, and so far, no one seems to have caught it at its original analog quality.
But I digress. The audiophile may be addicted to the purity of sound, and driven to extreme fetish to acquire the right gear to hear the perfect sound, but the audiophile is still obsessed with sound.
This is where eastern mysticism steps in. Try silence. Have you ever got addicted to deep, blissful, unperturbed fathomless silence? Can you imagine how nourishing that must be for your ears, for your mind, for your soul?
The journey from an audiophile to a silent meditator is rather mysterious. The first thing you realize, is that physical silence is not possible in the physical world. With great fortitude when you do manage to almost cancel all external sounds, the sounds from within your body are louder than the noisiest traffic outside. The gnashing of your teeth, the breathing of your body, the beating of your heart-beat: you never realize how noisy it is to inhabit the human body!
This is where the mind is called in to contribute with what it can do best. You soon learn to teach your mind to attenuate all noise and sound outside and inside. This fascinating noise-cancellation ability of the mind allows you to drop into silence. Momentarily at first. It’s like suddenly diving several hundred kilometres deep into a pitch-black and extremely cold and refreshing ocean. You see nothing, you hear nothing, you feel nothing, but it’s all around you.
Then you come back. Exploding into an explosion of sound and noise of the universe.
Want to be an audiophile for free? Just meditate. Heck! You might even forget sound.