Tuesday 18 October 2011

Most Relaxing?

They say it's the 'most relaxing music ever' - which seems a large claim. Having heard some of it on the radio last night, I suspect they might be blurring the fine line between 'relaxing' and 'stupefyingly boring' (as in, for example, Enya - number 4 in the Top Ten at the end of that piece). The definition of 'relaxing' here is narrowly physiological, based on heart rate, brain activity (or inactivity), etc - and of course no account is taken of musical merit. Great music that could be classified as 'relaxing' is relaxing in a far more profound way, relaxing our grip on the things of this world and easing us into a weightless realm of fictive beauty, where nothing holds us but the music. Something, perhaps, like this...


  1. I find that listening to "relaxing classics" or whatever it's called on Classic FM is enough to seriously stress me out. The way they only play individual movements, and jump right in with some idiotic comment within half a second of the piece ending - !

    By the way should your blog have a followers list?

  2. Hmm...Weightless...where to begin.
    Yesterday I had an MRI scan (don't ask). Before feeding me into the tube, the very sweet feeder asked the feedee whether he would like headphones for the '20 minute procedure'. I declined politely, but had a quick listen before being lowered into the vault....and yes, it had the same aimless 'relaxing' feel that Weightless possesses, and last heard by me when my dentist offered me much the same. This infantalizing of us all is spreading, like a virus, and I appeal to all Nige fans and Dabblers to say 'enough, no more. We want rigor'

  3. 'Relaxing' can indeed by stressful, Jenny - especially on Classic FM. And yes I'm sure my blog should have a followers list and a blogroll and all sorts - one day I'll work out how to embellish it, but meanwhile it's all I can do to negotiate the basics - I really don't understand the techie side of it at all...
    A fine rallying cry, Mahlerman - and I hope all went well MRI-wise - you certainly made the right choice re the headphones!

  4. I wonder if mahlerman goes to the same dentist as me. Enya every blasted time; I’ve knocked up years of her now. And as I lie on the chair, the dentist prefaces the switching on of the spotlight with the phrase: "Just a little bit of sunshine." Beat that for infantilization.

  5. The head nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest had a thing or two about relaxing musak, sounded like Henry Mancini, relaxing, all the way to the lobotomy, the ultimate relaxant.
    Which is the effect listening to Robert Peston has, the feeling of being lobotomised.