I was at the mixing session for the new Holler Jake (@hollerjakemusic) record when the engineer began to turn down all the lights in the room. I looked up from where I was to make sure everything was okay. The engineer said, “Sorry man, I just had to make it a little darker. I hear better that way.”
The human body is an amazing creation. It does things on its own. Cut off one sense, and other senses are amplified. But what happens in the reverse, when one sense is over stimulated?
We live in a world that feeds our sense of sight. Images are everywhere, and videos are coming at us from every possible outlet. We are easily drawn to both. But we lose something as a result. Our ability to listen plays second fiddle to the visual stimulus (not to mention smell or taste or touch). Words begin to matter less than pictures or imagery.
We see this happening, and wonder why.
I ran a little experiment. I went into the studio to practice some tap dancing. I spent a few minutes practicing in front of the mirror (a common practice for dancers). Then I turned away, closed my eyes and practiced some more. Everything was different. The shift was dramatic. What I concentrated on changed.
Tap dancers are percussive dancers. We value the sounds we generate. But with a lot of recent energy spent on developing online content like this one I seem to have shifted focus towards how things are presented. My natural disposition to focus on what I sounded like had yielded. Not good.
So I closed my eyes. After a few minutes, my hearing came back to life, and so did my dancing. The shift was dramatic. What I concentrated on changed.
Maybe we all need some time to close our eyes.