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The soundtrack of a deeply lived life: part music, part ambient environment, part rain, wind and nature. Oh – and part Lovely Boyfriend!
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST EMMANUELLE LAMBERT
Sitting on my couch, watching a documentary on French television. Music, slamming door noises as images of some prison appear on the screen, foot steps getting louder and louder. Then the noises stop, music remains, and voice over starts. The soundtrack to a quiet evening, only accompanied by my typing on my laptop. And occasionally, a kitty starts purring. Not on telly, but on my lap.
Music, morning …
Sitting on a chair in my kitchen, radio on, furious hungry meowing on too. Water for my tea is getting hotter and hotter in my boiler, bread is getting toasted and will soon jump out of the toaster. I can hear the sound of the water from upstairs as Lovely Boyfriend showers. The soundtrack to another morning, possibly made better by my singing in just-woke-up-but-still-managed-to-do-agni-sara pitched voice.
Sitting on the tram to the office. I have my headphones on, listening to a podcast. The voice is soon covered up by the noises of the old tramway, creaking and screeching on the rails, by the people talking, to each other or on the phone (how can one talk so loudly on the phone when it is not even 9 o’clock ? and yes, singing at breakfast is on the contrary perfectly acceptable), cars passing by, the usual scenario at rush hour.
The soundtrack to another Monday morning, while you are barely awake.
Sitting on the tram from the office on the way to teach a private yoga class. Headphones on, again, most likely listening to once-despised “yoga music”. The odds are good that Deva Premal is now chanting her version of the Guru Rinpoche Mantra, and she is quickly followed by Claire Missingham and her Ganesha Sharanam. Now the tube, the underground world. The noises again, hand in hand with their friends the smells. Noise & Smell, the ever present, ever overpowering duo living underground. The soundtrack to a day of work ending, another day of work starting.
Sitting on the tram on the way home. It’s late already, the streets and tube stations are calmer. It is late, but not the night yet. It is that time of the day we call in France « entre chien et loup », between dog and wolf, when the respectable day leaves and makes space for the treacherous night. The noisy hustle and bustle of the city dwellers has gone, only replaced by fewer trams, going faster now that the streets are clearer.
… and night
Headphones on, again listening to a podcast, only covered by the noises of this new tram, much more modern, less loud, more swift, you can feel it and hear it go while you’re in its belly. Noise pairs up with Neon Lights. The soundtrack to a late journey back home, the weirdness of the city emphasized by strange light and the music that escapes from this youngster’s headphones, sitting over there. It might not be the music you would listen to, from what you can hear, but it’s his. And whatever type of music you listen to, the effects are universal. You are both on the same tram, but you each have your own journey in your ears.
Sitting on your own couch, in your home studio below the roof. Home studio, that sounds good right? Maybe a bit… too much? Then again, this is where you work, study, practice, you always have a mat unrolled there. Much to your kitty’s delight.
You hear her scratch your old worn out mat you can’t seem to get rid of. You hear yourself scratch and scribble frantically on paper as you work your way through a yoga class, or the workbook from that über important training you are taking. Then Skype rings, and a conversation with a friend in the US starts. That’s been the soundtrack of afternoon and evenings of work for the last few weeks.
Music making in a world made of music
Nothing beats the sound of life. There is nothing you can do to cover the sound of life happening, wherever you are. It can be a car in your street, a furious honk following up soon, the heating starting up and burning water soon flowing in the pipes, the floor creaking under your footsteps…
Nothing beats the sounds of nature though. As I started typing this column, rain started pouring, and it is now hitting my roof repeatedly. Wind is waking up, and whistling through the littlest hole. Forgotten, the noisy cars. Forgotten, the loud voices outside. Forgotten, the chatter on the ever useless television.
As I am sipping my cup of tea, sitting on my couch with city of my life, I am preparing to listen to the best music ever created: the sounds of nature.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.