Over the course of what felt like a particularly dreary and inelegant winter, I fell in love: with Mozart.
The gifted and lovely psychic Mary T. Browne advised me to listen to Mozart. Classical music had been only a distant interest, sparked mostly by watching dance performances. But, trusting the ineluctable Ms. Browne, I played Mozart.
The more I listened, the more I was entranced. The music has a balancing, peaceful effect, a sweet joy that’s a welcome surcease from the heartache of watching a 15 year old go off the rails, and listening to the self-righteous rantings of an ungrateful 19 year old. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child,” wrote Shakespeare, in King Lear. And how right that master of human psychology was, whether the Bard really was Anne Hathaway’s husband, or he was Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe.
The point isn’t that everything important or meaningful about the human condition is found in Shakespeare, though that is true. The point is that the Andante in C major for Flute and Orchestra, K 315, makes my life better.
So I experimented with ways to imbue my home with music. The Apple wireless system with Airport worked well, and the app REMOTE on my iPhone controlled the system nicely. But I decided I wanted a more integrated look, feel, and sound, rather than having a Bose speaker in the dining room and a Sony speaker in the bedroom.
Ecco, SONOS. The Bridge plugs into my airport extreme and transmits to all the S5 players throughout the apartment. The speakers have good quality sound. The SONOS controller downloaded perfectly to my iMac, and the Sonos app to my iPhone, so I can DJ the music even from the bathroom. As for volume: it cranks!
We’ve discovered Pandora radio and Rhapsody. My husband Sabin, whose grandfather was a concert pianist and whose musical taste is more complex than mine, has his three favorite stations: Spanish Guitar radio, AC/DC, and Dvorak. My wild thing 15 year old daughter plays Glee Cast and Sexy Bitch radio. For my little one, there’s the Magic Kingdoms and Small Worlds station on Rhapsody. I have, okay, no scoffing, Rod Stewart radio, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart radio, and my Yoga playlist which includes Krishna Das, Cynthia Snodgrass, Deva Premal, a rockin’ Halleluya by Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, and some lush renditions of mantras like the great Om Tryambakam.
The Sonos system isn’t cheap, but it works well. There are a few glitches. Occasionally the music drops. Usually that’s a quick fix by switching channels in the control panel. I initially ordered four S5 units from the company; three arrived, and one showed up in Memphis as an empty box. Sonos was nice enough about it, but they wanted me to wait for the investigation to unfold. They weren’t altogether pleased when I articulated my belief that the empty box wasn’t my problem and I wanted another unit shipped to me pronto. To their credit, they did ship the replacement unit pronto, at great effort to themselves.
So “if music be the food of love, play on,” and fill my home with love!