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Getting a handle on Water Music

August 27, 2013

A half-hour post today, to let you know of a worrying development in musical technology.

Saturday’s shower tune this week proved to be Eddy Grant’s I don’t wanna dance. As is often the case, I am at a loss to explain where it came from, but I was glad to welcome it into the cubicle with me. “If only”, I thought to myself “I knew more of the words”; but prudence decided me against asking Mrs sss to look up the lyrics online and read them back to me while I was still in the shower. This is going to appear disloyal, but Mrs sss is not always sympathetic to the imperative of answering musical questions with the kind of immediacy that they truly deserve. It is probable that my attempts to explain that satisfying my inner musical needs is a legitimate pursuit of karma would have met with very short shrift. And that would be a pity, because it would have prevented me from reminding her, romantically, that at the time we first met Eddy Grant was enjoying considerable success with another cracking song: Do You Feel My Love? 

So without more lyrics, but unwilling simply to go round and round through the first half of the verse and the chorus, I cut short the time of just “being” under the shower in order to look it up myself. By that means, I reasoned, I will ensure that my audience will have a richer experience next time. However, I forgot until now. And what does that prove? Probably, that an internet-enabled shower screen is the next must-have gadget for the sss household. wouldn't like the results from a search on "Singing in the Shower"

…you wouldn’t like the results from a search on “Singing in the Shower”

Almost in real-time (at least while I am writing) I discover how far from a pipe-dream that may in fact be. You can now get an audio shower head which is Bluetooth-enabled so that music can be brought into the shower with you. Take a look at this: a showerhead/wireless speaker combo.

Now I am not advertising this: far from it, because it depresses more than excites me. It may well give you proper things to sing along to while you lather up – the ideal domestic karaoke set-up; but on the other hand, as I have sometimes suggested, a man’s shower is his castle. Only there can the musical amateur truly shine.

I am never so talented a musician as when I am in the shower: whether on air guitar, soulfully delivering strong and emotive vocals, or showing an interpretative gift which is all in all to itself. Backing tracks are unnecessary; in fact a backing track would limit me, possibly causing irreparable harm to the performance and my self-esteem.

An obvious thing would be to listen to something more suited to the occasion, in name at least. Which, despite the awful pun, is enough excuse to link to Handel’s Water Music: a beautifully constructed piece, and a pretty video to boot:

Later on Saturday I sat, dry and dressed, listening to Bach, and a recording of part of St John’s Passion. This is stunning music. Perhaps not as widely known as the Matthew Passion, but still with the characteristic rhythms and fugal movements in the body of the music which distinguish Bach from his contemporaries. He is often called the father of music; listen to how he grounds the chords in this aria (Eilt ihr eingefocht’nen Seelen) and you’ll find that he is certainly an ancestor of the bass guitarist.

Thinking about it now, that would be a far more satisfactory kind of music to wash over me in the morning; but if I stayed in the shower to listen to the whole thing, I would probably lower the water table.


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  1. Anne-Marie Hetherington permalink

    Nice one! On the theme of watery music. You may want to consider ‘Rusalka’ or Smetana’s ‘Ma Vlast’ – the Vltava section. I am not going to mention the Rhine music from ‘The Ring’, as I songs your unaccountable prejudices on this matter.

  2. Well I sort of know Ma Vlast, and to a lesser extent Rusalka, but I am never one to pass up on a recommendation, so I shall go back to them directly. I may even try the Rhine music you mention, if you promise me it isn’t longer than the Rhine itself.

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