800 Speakers

A Resonant Dendrites Story

I’ve known them for most of my life.
My first memory of them is when we bought a stereo.
It was just a turntable, an amplifier and cables that led to the speakers.
I assume they were relatively high quality.
Everything in our house
seemed like it must have been some kind of higher quality.
The exceptions were the things that no one had taken an interest in it.
Our toothpaste, for instance, was not particularly special and
our underwear was always mediocre but adequate.
The quality objects that I can still bring to mind are the German piano,
the designer house, the Italian tableware, the pedigree dog,
our thoughts, our interests, our pursuits:
it was a collective assumption that all of these had
quality, depth, ample consideration.

I can’t remember what color they were but I assume that if they weren’t black,
they had wood casings and at least black grill cloths.
Each speaker delivered high output with minimum distortion.
That is, they offered sounds;
they gave us music when we weren’t playing it ourselves.

Since then, I have owned, rented and used speakers for many reasons.
Through that first stereo pair we listened to
Bach, Gershwin, Simon & Garfunkel.
The next speakers I bought myself and put in my room.
I played James Taylor and Beethoven.
After that came an exponential burst in speaker exposure and
I slipped into my life as an electro acoustic musician.
How many speakers has it been since the first two?
2 to the power of 40?
That’s 1 trillion 99 billion 511 million 627 thousand and 776.
I think that number is too big.
How about something like 20 times 40, which would be 800.
800 is still an impressive amount of speakers to have used
either as listener or performer.

Now I wonder how I could have built
any kind of significant relationship with them.
Did I feel dependent on them?
Did I love them, even if our exchange was brief?
Will I continue to remember them in the same way
when I’m very old and my memory has gone astray?
Maybe I’ll forget everything else in my life and
only dwell on black boxes that feed sounds to the world.

Do you want to know one of my secrets? It’s this.
I don’t know if I have ever loved them or if I ever will.
I don’t understand love enough to explain
these things to you but I can tell you one thing.

I love learning about them,
about their history,
about what they can do,
about what they can’t do,
about their big and little parts,
about their promises for the future
and most of all I love my fantasies about our work together;
past, present and future.
Speakers and me.
They are an augmented me and not at all me in one breath.
They give me potential. They give me reflection.
They enhance, my sounds, my body, my art.
They strengthen my nuance and integrity.
And they steer me deeper and deeper into the jungle of sound.
They trigger my cravings for information, for feedback.
They invite me to
delve dig grub scoop
jab nudge poke
sound out