Ivan Hewett has written an interesting article, 'Open your ears and let the magic in', which is worth reading.
The general gist is highlighting the importance of really listening to music and giving it our full attention.
The report was prompted after 'hearing' some youths 'listening' to music through their mobile 'phones, and realising just how dreadful the sound actually is.
As Hewett says, "When listening intently sounds and music take on a special glow. When mingled with the world's noise and bustle, they shrink down to just another annoying distraction that has to be filtered out if we want to hang on to our sanity." Well said.
From a musician's point of view, sound quality is all important. Such a lot of time and effort goes into creating the best possible sound from your instrument, which isn't an easy process in the recording studio, especially for the guitar.
Listening to music intently is something we are very used to in our house.
Especially at the moment.
As Robin records another track for the new CD, each piece is scrutinized and agonized over.
Has the sound been captured?
Does it have the right feel?
Are there any extraneous noises?
This is a long process which requires many, many takes of each track to get it just as Robin wants it.
I'm sure it is the same for most musicians.
People listen to music in different ways.
They may have sit down purely to listen, or, in the background whilst socialising.
For Robin, a life time of dedication to music makes it very difficult for him to join in a conversation when music is on in the background, as his ear is naturally drawn to the music.
If we play music at home it is to listen to, not to supplement an atmosphere. If we have friends round for a meal, naturally we will play music, but invariably the conversation is drawn to the piece currently playing.
Years of intense listening seem to have affected our ability to 'filter out' the sound.
But we do realise that often people want to listen in this way and that is fine.
But do take the time to sit back and 'really' listen to music. The benefits are incredible.
You will 'hear' so much more than you initially realised was there.
Apart from that, we owe it to our musicians to listen to the music in which they have invested so much time.
'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman