Sound harassment

A tale

Published in bulletin nº 4 of Arsonal · Centre per a la difusió de les arts sonores, October 1998

(This story has come to me from the great beyond, from the mouth of someone who dreamily believed they were entitled to the property of their own ears).

«I am awoken by the melodies of the latest singer in fashion that my neighbour plays relig-iously every day at eight o'clock in the morning. I sip my coffee, and make my way towards the underground to go to work. An unrepentant loudspeaker floods the platform with platform music. In the lift which takes me up to the office, soft music (lift music). My morning at work goes by to the rhythm of piped music. On leaving, I stop by a department store. I don't have anything to buy, but designer music encourages shopping and I shop. A vermouth under the T.V. in the bar that no-one watches or listens to but still bellows (maybe that's why). At lunch I am unable to convince the waiter to turn the music down. They must think I come from an-other planet. Perhaps I just don't fit on this one. I want to run away. I discard the idea of run-ning away by coach because of the video. I choose the train. After vaguely making out a dis-torted polonaise and witnessing the murder of Mozart by a string orchestra and a rhythm box, I can't take it any more. I throw myself from the moving train and, battered, I take the first taxi: to the airport! (200 watts of salsa music pound me). As the plane is taking off, when the speakers in the ceiling begin to vibrate, I express my last wish (like someone condemned to death): to listen to Albéniz's Iberia Suite when I feel like it. This is the end. I want to die. I die, and as a good martyr, I land in paradise. But no, heavens above! What is there to greet me? Celestial music!»

Eduardo Polonio, Composer, Founder, President and only member of the A.A.C.L.N.M.W.M.N.M.W.P.O. (Association Against Coactive Listening to No Matter What Music in No Matter What Place or Occasion).