Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Wagnerian Opera

Rivulets of sweat drips down your brow, there's barely time to catch you breath but you daren't stop. Your heart is beating a mile a second, pumping blood so hard through your engorged arteries that you can barely hear your thoughts. Feet thumping relentlessly on the ground, all you can do is run as the drumbeats of your dreaded enemy's army marches ever closer. 

You're not trembling at the penultimate scene of almost every adventure movie you've ever seen though. Above you, there are no dastardly villains twirling their oily mustaches as they didactically recount every punishment they will soon gleefully inflict upon your helpless self.

No, that blasted Wagnerian opera you just sat through is coming from the alarmingly gargantuan gym speakers. And the only seemingly heartless monster hounding you is the cute physical trainer yelling irritatingly encouraging catchphrases across the din of screaming Valkyries. Fortunately his sculpted pecs are perky enough that the sudden monstrous urge to viciously maim him with a barbell subsides.

I blame the music.

Despite being quite the garrulous sort, there are times when I prefer the sound of silence. Tense moments in the operating theatre, bibliophilic reverence in the library / bookstore - and yes, lifting weights at the gym.

Unlike most, I am not a fan of music in the gym. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the important role that music plays in workout motivation - and I do play the occasional upbeat pop track while sprinting a mile on the treadmill.

But my gym plays only two kinds of music. Usually it's the dreadful thumpa thumpa techno club hits sounds that makes me feel involuntarily buried in a recurring feng tau 揈头 disco nightmare! Judging by the club kids that come by in the evening, I don't blame the gym for trying to build a familiar environment for them.

Worse though is the terrifyingly devilish Wagnerian opera sound - by way of Hans Zimmer - that makes me feel like I'm being hunted down by a cacophonous band of raucous Vikings - armed with their ear-splitting howls of fury. There's nothing more I wish to do but willingly surrender but I don't know by what irrational terms these screeching demons are persecuting me!

Egads! They play such infernal music in the place you call... gym? 

And by ye Gods, the resounding volume. I bet even the Norse Gods can hear it crystal clear in their halls of Asgard.

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