Ears Wide Open


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For all the wonderful music my iDevices can pump out, there’s no replacement for live music, especially outdoor music. I was excited to soak up the summer sounds of the 70-member Medalist Concert Band from my lawn chair near Minnehaha Park. My former Pride of Minnesota Marching Band director Jerry Luckhardt directs this ensemble, and one of my buddies has long held a chair in the band. Great work guys!

This past week, I’ve been thinking about the sounds of our lives. When you pause to listen, you realize there are many hundreds of sounds during one’s daily routine–tones, rhythms, sound effects–that confirm life is humming along. Aside from the obvious ones, here are some I’ve noticed lately:

  • the sound of a pop tab breaking the seal of an aluminum can with carbonation escaping and bubbles settling. I can tell the difference in the pitch between a regular soda can, Red Bull and Monster drink.
  • the sound of someone’s gait, sometimes accentuated by the taps of their soles
  • the musicality of some phone numbers
  • the perforation of a paper-wrapped straw
  • the patter of fingertips moving at different speeds on keyboards
  • the hydraulic sound of landings and takeoffs from office chairs

What subtle but recognizable sounds have you noticed lately? If you don’t recall anything notable, better keep your ears wide open!

Don’t Stop the Music, performed by Jamie Cullum

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