Friday, October 16, 2009

Adventures in Audio

For centuries, mankind (or just me…) has been torn between their materialistic possessions and the moments in their lives that define who they are. Personally, I try to make it by with as little expensive possessions as possible. However, I can sometimes be swayed to buy something I really want, like, or need. I believe this is human nature, to pursue endlessly until all the things that are wanted are eventually acquired. Some people, and even some religions, have noticed this habit and try to prevent it as much as possible to limit their earthly belongings and hold on to the memories that make them who they are.

Orange, red, and gold fill the canvas that is the treetops behind me. I am wearing an uncomfortable yet fancy uniform, and my alto saxophone is locked between my hands on a football field, several hours away from my home. Others surround me, in the same uniform, with assorted instruments, but with the same look of frozen intensity. I find myself at another marching band competition, about to begin our show “Rush n’ Roll”, featuring music by Rush. With literally seconds given for mental, physical, and emotional preparation, we are finally ready to perform and be judged. As we step into carefully planned formations and positions, Geddy Lee (vocalist) screams out of my saxophone and Neil Peart (drummer) beats seven separate drums behind me. Before any of us know it, 12 minutes have passed, and our final note is being held.
After our performance, there is a lot of waiting around to do. Sometimes we wait for awards for up to five hours. During this extensive musical duration, we eat, listen to the other bands, and, if it happens to be a particularly arctic evening, huddle together for warmth. Eventually, the award ceremony begins. Being in the smallest group division, our category (group 1A) is always called first. As the lowest placing schools go by, our anticipation and excitement grows. 15 minutes later, it is 11:30. We are riding home, with 1st place in our possession.

Orange, white, and black envelop my cranium as I nod a heavy rock beat. Holding back the lyrics I want to resonate, I increase the volume to its maximum, letting the Japanese metal composition flow through my mind. All the distracting noises of the world are canceled out, thanks to my Skullcandy “Hesh” wrap-around headphones.
I acquired my monstrous headphones at a Theory store at the Holyoke mall, on the day my pathetic ear buds finally gave out. I only intended to purchase an inexpensive pair of ear buds, perhaps in a vibrant green or purple, but when I laid eyes on the huge tiger-colored headphones, I had to have them. I asked the heavily pierced clerk how much they were, and the answer discouraged me a little. 50 dollars for the insane technology. He may have just been getting me to buy his pricy merchandise, but the clerk told me of his personal pair, and actually let me listen through them. Never before had I heard such clarity, and as the clerk’s lips moved up and down, I noted the ability of noise canceling. Eight minutes later, I walked out of Theory with a new pair of Skullcandy headphones.

As far as enormous headphones and band competitions go, I have the best of each. My competitions give me practice and experience I will need for future performances, while my headphones give me enhanced audio enjoyment. Without my headphones, I would have to resort to a lesser music projector and be without the clarity of two speakers hugging each ear. Without the competitions, I wouldn’t have something to look forward to in the late autumn, and that would be excruciatingly boring. I will stick to my theory, in saying that humans are more connected with their memories and experiences, though the occasional expensive treat is always accepted and (I believe) required to keep the sense of humanity.

1 comment:

  1. The author seems to be saying that humans are more connected with emotional times and life experiences than the latest expenisve gadget. He also believes that more expensive objects do have their place in what a person values, they are just not as important as other things.

    I think the marching band performance was very vividly described. I liked how you said how the performance seemed to fly by. It does feel like that when you do something you've been looking forward too for a long time, and the nwhen it actually comes it feels like it went by in a flash.

    Your essay had a lot of good strengths. Your word choice was great. My favorite part of your essay was the description, I liked how you mentioned how the clerk was "heavily pierced". The extra details like that show the effort you put into making your essay interesting.

    I can't find too much room for improvement. From you opening thoughts and questions to the clsing, I didn't really find any issues. It didn't seem like there needed to be any more detail needed, so I don't have anything to suggest you improve. Ithink this was a great essay.