Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Can you hold music?

Isn't it funny what listening to hold music does to us.

We can get impatient - the pace at which this happens depends on the reason we were put on hold. Having worked in the front line of a customer service department for 7 years, I've not got a problem with being put on hold. Far from it.

I found myself on hold, all in all for about 15 minutes last night. There was music playing while on hold. It was romantic-period classical music, I think. Nearing the end of this time on hold, I found my mind drifting to the episode of The West Wing where Josh is trying to call someone (I can't remember who, and not had a chance to watch episode 14 of season 2 to find out) and ends up in "some kind of hellish hold world of holding".

To me it's such a memorable portrayal of that character's exasperation - and our impatience. I was chuckling at my own trip into the stereotypical response - then suddenly I heard what the flute player was doing. I head the effort that had gone in to making the sounds I was listening to. I heard the breath that flute player was pushing into that piece of metal with such skill that the notes were dancing out.

At that moment, I really didn't mind being on hold. I was caught by what I was hearing.

How often is music (be it on hold or in person) limited to a nice, useful, background noise? There was so much effort put into developing the craft of playing the instruments as the passion of people's lives had been poured into it. And I could listen to it nonchelantly as though it was hardly even there. Perhaps it's because the atypical hold music is bland?

All of this reminded me of the clips in The Matrix where you see the *code* that sits behind the construct. That there's depth to our lives we can miss by not being fully present.

Sure we can't give attention to all that's going on around us, but I'm confident there's times where I can be giving my attention to far fewer things, and as a result paying more quality attention...

No comments: