Tuesday, 1 November 2011

My iPod & Me - A guest post by Andy Tullock

The bus driver is in a rush today, pulling away from the station before the last old lady has barely crawled her brittle bones onto the number thirteen lowrider. Not that I'm complaining; I'm grouchy and I wanna get home pronto, but also the bus is exuding a greater stench then normal. These harsh urban nights arent filled with neon lights and inspiring images but degredation and demoralising hour-long journeys home.

Don't get me wrong, I'm normally a positive person and so starting my first set of blogs on here in such pessimistic tones is probably not the best way to entice you to my prevails; it's simply to highlight this exceptional mood I happen to be in. So, hearing 'Guns of Brixton' stagger randomly onto my iPod comes as a reassuring hand on the shoulder, a little acknowledging nod. It's the friendly 'I know how you feel' without the need for meaningless conversation. I can sit back and relax as my multimedia playing pal continues his consistent run of good form in this field.

I believe it's a direct reflection on the amount of time I have spent editing, selecting, re-selecting and dissecting the playlists and music that he has to work with. In effect I have nurtured my iPod to my exact needs; taught it the value of certain tracks, whilst encouraging the randomness of shuffling through others. Furthermore by skipping, actively searching and relistening to certain tracks at specific times I have taught my fruitfully-infused friend the sporadic yet all encompassing relationship I have with music. There is always a song for my situation, a melody for my mood, a beat for my emotion. That my iPod reguarly picks this better then I can, he can be akin to the skill of any half decent DJ as he stumbles half cut into his arena.

The unspoken relationship between myself and this minijukebox is one that is becoming more complex & confusing. In the same way that old people become close to pets in time of isolation, my many sprawling journeys of late have developed my love for the little fella. Not only has he stuck to his task with a more then commendable spirit, but twisted and tricked his way through each of the obstacles I have erected in front of him.

To break this down into such examples of tracks at times would not only subject you to mundane mentions of mediocre music, but also alienate a lot through my array of embarrassing artists that sit on my CD shelves. Needless to say there have been times when I have specifcially desired to hear certain tracks, and he has actively found these amongst his cast of thousands without the request from myself to do so. Other times I have been treated to forgotten favourites, genre jumps and ever evolving track trips.

Of course there are times we have disagreed, fallen and argued. Sometimes I have had to take control and guide us in the right direction or merely seek out new material to give him the tools to work with. But like every good relationship it has stayed fresh, we've grown together and have a better understanding of each other for that. There were times when I took all of this for granted but as soon as I did I was presented with a reminder that it is not possible for it to work without the commitment of both. Now I know and acknowledge this we can move and adapt, working with each others suggestions to never let staleness stagnate between us, unlike the stench from this bus.

Andy writes his own words here and here, and lives in Hull.

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