Yesterday, I caught the train to work for the first time in months. I've missed catching the train since I got a car - it's a nice opportunity to read a book and rest my head on a window for twenty minutes or so - but what I've missed even more is the part where I have to walk between the train station and the office.
For years, a large chunk of my music listening was done whilst walking, but it's a habit that I more or less dropped entirely when Darth, my handsome black Volkswagen, entered my life just over a year ago. In many ways, he's made my life a lot easier, but as I dance-trotted my way towards Cadoxton station yesterday evening, I found myself wondering if the benefits of having a car were worth the sacrifice of my daily music walk.
Photograph by Sascha Kohlmann
I've been struggling lately to make strong connections with new music the way I used to, and I think there are two reasons for this:
1) I'm old and jaded and nothing sounds as amazing to my ears now as practically everything did when I was a 13-year-old newbie.
2) Where I used to listen to music in parks, on streets, and as I ran to catch my train or the start of a uni lecture. Now I pretty much only listen to music in the car and at my desk.
So I guess I'm writing this blog as a reminder to myself to keep walking places this autumn. Walking - like headbanging, toe-tapping, and having sex - is a great way to engage with the music you're hearing, especially if the songs you're listening to hit the right tempo (my iPhone shuffled up a storm of great walking-pace songs last night, including Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem and I Lost My Mind by Titus Andronicus). Matching your steps to the kick drum and snare certainly beats sitting still and half-listening to the latest tunes while you're trying to simultaneously focus on work, and if there are some freshly-fallen leaves to stomp through while you're at it, so much the better!