Today I listened to some music with my eyes closed behind a black mask that I was given on an airline flight. Normally, I listen whilst doing something else, like reading or writing blog posts! Today’s experience was so much more enaged, and the depth listening was quite a revelation, and a bit of a shock to my brain. At least I think that’s how a felt for a while afterwards – taxed.
Actually, the view from my listening position seat that I can’t avoid when playing music is very engrossing – big, bright, colourful. It’s my garden and the sky above. Without that making seeing dominant over hearing, the listening was very different. Of course, it’s easy to stop seeing by closing your eyes, but try to stop hearing!
What I realised is that listening is more significant and effective and affective – impressive, literally – when it is the chosen primary ‘sensational’ activity, and music goes to the emotions most directly, without the visual chatter of objects, colours, contrast, light and dark, and so on. Listening has a different quality when it’s not introding on and competing with visual stimulation.
I will be doing much more blind listening. Now that mask is on the table in front of me, ready for the next music experience. It has become part of my listening kit.