Dan got up at 5:30 every morning to go for a run before work. Today was no exception; his radio alarm woke him on time with the daily celebrity scandal. He hit a button to silence it, and put on his training clothes. He grabbed his iPod on the way out the door, and unwound the cable as he walked to warm up. He put the earphones in and quickened to a jogging pace as he scrolled through his playlists. He pressed play and quickened his step again. He crossed the road, heading towards the park, and then realised no music was playing. He cranked the volume up but nothing happened. Dan pulled his iPod from his pocket and found the playlist empty of tracks.
“What the hell…”
He selected another playlist, but its pre-selected tracks weren’t there either. After checking two more playlists, Dan stopped running and clicked All Music. Nothing appeared; there was a blank screen. He grunted, shoved his iPod into his pocket, and continued his daily run without his usual upbeat music to keep rhythm.
Once he got home, Dan jumped in the shower, had breakfast and then got in the car to head to work across the city. The radio station he had pre-tuned in the car was spitting out static, so he switched to another, which was transmitting a news report. Every channel he tuned into was playing either news, weather or DJs talking rubbish. Dan hit the radio off with a thump and drove to work in silence. He passed the morning by drinking coffee after coffee as he waded his way through paperwork he had been hoping would disappear. His afternoon was one long, stressful meeting, and by the time he left the office and got into his car, he was more than ready to unwind with his girlfriend at the concert they booked tickets for months before. He flipped through the radio stations again and let it settle on a comedy act as he sat in traffic.
As soon as he got home, he took a shower to waken up, and made a quick microwave dinner. He had just finished getting ready when his phone buzzed with a text from Lucy: “Concert cancelled tonight, band gave no reason!”
Dan swore loudly and went straight to the fridge for a beer. Lucy phoned him ten minutes later and asked if he wanted to go to a wine bar instead. “They better have stocked up,” Dan replied.
“What’s up?” Lucy asked him as they sat on the bar’s balcony, overlooking part of the city. “Nothing, why?” he replied. “You seem tense. Bad day?” Lucy asked. “I guess… well, no… I don’t know, nothing bad happened, it’s just been a weird sort of day. Quiet, but busy, you know?” Dan answered. Lucy nodded.
“It’s nice here, but they could do with playing some music or something, soft jazz or that,” Dan said. “Yeah,” Lucy agreed.
On their walk back to Lucy’s apartment, they stopped to buy kebabs from a street vendor, and while they waited for their overpriced, cheap meat, Dan looked up and saw some words spray painted onto a disused bridge. He could just make out what it said from the flickering light of a street lamp: “Imagine waking tomorrow and all music has disappeared”.
-Naomi Marcus, DMU.