I think I’ve broken my brain.
By listening to music. I never would have thought that that would be possible, but it seems it is.
I’ve spent the entire day listening to a single song on repeat. In the name of…art?
Yes, art. Or Sensory experimentation. Or pure torture. What ever you want to call it, that’s what I’ve done.
I can’t seem to think about anything except Children by Robert Miles. I even had to put the track back on to write this as when I sat down to write originally all I could do was hum the dang track.
Normally, I listen to a great deal of music in the course of a day. Between 8-14 hours of music a day are played in my immediate surroundings. So, going into this project I decided to maintain that level of music saturation, except listen to only the prescribed single track according to the instructions.
I agonised over which track would have the honour of keeping my ears company for an entire day. It was a big decision. I knew that it would have to be something that was at least familiar, without being a favourite for fear of hating the song by day’s end. After discussing the project with my sister and my boyfriend I decided that it should be an instrumental piece with an upbeat tempo and had a neutral emotional tone. The boyfriend suggested that something too happy sounding would make me manic, and something melancholy would have be too emotionally draining.
I started by going through my music collection and ordering the songs by length, thinking that if I chose a longer song I would be less sick of it by the end of the day. A good idea in theory, but one that I didn’t actually exercise in the end. I selected a song that clocked in at just over 4 minutes (4:05 to be precise). Given that I started listening to it at approximately 10:30 this morning and only had it turned off while we ate and watched a single episode of Fringe on Netflix, I’ve been listening to it for just over eleven hours now. At 14.69 plays per hour, that’s over 160 plays of the same song.
And surprisingly I don’t actually hate it. It was a great song to listen to while walking as it has the same tempo as my walk, and my little dog enjoyed the extra long walk we went on today as a result of the music driving me along. I walk every where I go, and always have music playing when I do, but today the tempo and the looped track made me go farther than my errands dictated.
But, I really think my brain is broken. I had the tedious task of getting my tax information together today so I could send them off to my sister to get them filed before the end of the month. Given that I am self employed and work from home, there are a few more numbers and reciepts that need to be collected than that of the average tax payer. BUT! It still should not have taken me the length of time that it did to get everything put together.
While working, I felt like I was working at a descent pace, however, I found that I wasn’t able to concentrate for very long before I felt the need to get up and move around. This interval became increasingly shorter throughout the day until I was getting up to move about every 15 minutes. I had several kitchen dance parties in the later part of the afternoon, and it’s a wonder that I was able to get diner made without cutting a finger off while bopping away.
The plus side of picking a song that I listened to a lot in my youth was the flood of memories that came back from that time. The mid nineties were a time of youthful frivolity for me, which included going clubbing at least twice a week, more like 3 or four times some weeks. And this track was played at least once each of those night regardless of which club my friends and I found ourselves in. I posted the track and my intentions for it on a couple of social media sites throughout the day and a couple of my friends from those clubbing days even commented on it.
What impressions am I left with after a day of listening to the same song on a constant loop?
Well, I could probably hum the entire thing from start to finish…and will likely have it stuck in my head for days to come. Will I want to skip over the track the next time it comes up on random play? I thought that would be a definite drawback to the experiment when I started, but I don’t think it will be the case. If anything, I think the experience will add to the memories I already have of the song.
I know one thing though, the little dog will be happy that I get to listen to a variety of music tomorrow, as I will likely listen to something a little less dance-party inducing. The little dog hates kitchen dance parties.
I am reminded of a project we were assigned in college. I think it was in my representation class (I’ll have to look and see). The assignment was to create a viusal representation of a piece of music. I dind’t listen to my selected piece nearly as many times then as I did Childern today, but still listened to it frequently while the project was being completed. I went through a similar process of visually creating the different elements of the music while walking this afternoon. I may actually create a visual piece to go with the song when my schedule becomes a little more calm and I have some free time.