Why it’s important to listen to musicals, maybe

For your ears. I found myself listening to Cats this week. The new version. The one recorded at Abbey Road.

The sessions were in Studio One for a week. You can hear that magnificent sound in the opener, when the orchestra kicks in. Wow.

The theme is quicker than I remember it. From the old cast version which I listened to when I was a kid. It works. But what really tickled me was track two. Jellicle cats. Such fun. So many words. So many lovely musical notes. The playful backing note stabs carrying the rhythm. The cast having to pronounce the words and sing them in time and together. Try following pedantical cats, metaphorical cats and the other words at the end. The bass player having a whale of a time driving everything forward.

But it’s following the singers that’s really a treat. And a thought hit me yesterday when I was tired, drained and bored after a long week and listening to cheer myself up. In a world struggling with homogenous dynamics, musicals could be the next best thing for one’s ears and listening brain.

Hearing the little timing differences between the ensemble singers delivering very challenging lines. It feels good, to spot those differences, to hear detail.

And it’s fun too, because you’re also listening to stories and words, which is something I don’t do enough of at the moment, I think.

Just a thought. I’ll be listening to more musicals this year either way, amongst the Japanese noise rock and everything else.

And yes, I do have a cat, a wonderful white moggy called Zoe.

Cats, the new one, at Abbey Road https://open.spotify.com/track/1jCDF7sWqYmOr2Ll5WkNuT?si=ErqmzXBrSheXVxP4yW3sIg

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