On our modern audio

When an Elizabethan reads the phrase, “Musique of Violenze,” he will be thinking of a parley of string instruments. He might be expecting dances from the Arundel Part-Books, or a galliard by William Byrd. Perhaps a hot little number by Clement Woodcock (c.1540–1589). You know: viols, violas, violins.

Whereas, a wretched, half-demented Modern, like me, sees the word “violenze” and thinks of “mostly peaceful protesters.” And then of the need to lock them in with “often non-violent prison guards.” Or today, I listen to the anti-symphony of jackhammers, ministering to the balconies around Castle Maynard (what I call the larger complex within which the High Doganate is housed). The east side of this building now looks as though it had been facing the port, when Beirut blew up recently. Listening (involuntarily) to these instruments (the jackhammers), I pick up on accidental sequences, that are strangely “musical” — in the inverted way that, for instance, rap music is musical.

I own a little CD player — useless against this racket. (The tea I just poured is jiggling in the cup, and my other pottery rattles as if to confirm an earthquake.) It has been “recommended” that tenants wear earplugs, for the next few months or years, as a supplement to their Batflu muzzles. Who knows? Maybe they would make the difference, between mere skull-cracking, and permanent hearing loss? But CD earphones make no difference at all.

My taste in recorded music tends to be old; so old, that even the recording labels have gone out of business. It is hard to make money, I gather, when the late Steve Jobs is giving all your “product” away for free. To add subtlety to that argument would require a long and rather tedious Idlepost, so I will leave it until after I am dead, myself.

Pressed for time at the moment, inexplicably. But I thought I should do another quick howl, before I had lost the attention of all my gentle readers.

My correspondents must also be patient with me, if I have any left.


FOOTNOTE, at a more optimistic pitch. In the land of the completely deranged, the half-demented man is king. (This may not be true, but it is encouraging.)