Wild Mercury Sound

No Music Day

John Mulvey

I had a big plan this morning to try and observe Bill Drummond's No Music Day for as long as we could stick it out. But I got here a bit late and Rufus Wainwright doing his Judy Garland turn was already on the stereo.

Up until this year, I've thought that No Music Day was one of Drummond's less endearing ideas, but listening to him on Radio 4 last night, it struck me that this just might be one of his most intellectually stimulating pranks yet. So far as I understand it - and I think Drummond's imperative is to understand it however you choose, ultimately - No Music Day is actually about enhancing the way that we listen to music.

Now I can't pretend that I ever feel fatigued at the prospect of another day listening to great music; I shouldn't be doing this job if I did. But Drummond's idea is that, by taking a day off from music, it'll make us listen anew, with fresher ears. It strikes me that this is particularly pertinent for people who are stuck in offices where the radio is on all day, and they're stuck listening, passively, to music which doesn't much interest them.

But even with our usual impeccable selections in the Uncut office, maybe a break would do us good. Drummond talked on the radio last night about how he originally envisaged a year, or a week without music before settling on the more pragmatic - pragmatism from Drummond seems such an odd conceit, but anyway - No Music Day. And it makes me think about how I've gone on holidays in the past and not taken any music, tried to cut myself off a little and empty my head, then got back to work and fell on my new CDs with a passion.

Right now, Rufus is doing "Swanee" and Drummond's idea has never seemed better. Let me know how you can cope without music, though. Oh, and while I think about it, a date for the diary if you're in London: Howlin' Rain, Damon & Naomi and Sunburned Hand Of The Man at the Scala on Sunday night. Looks like one of the best bills of the year, I think. . .


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