Lately, I have been meeting more and more people with an unusual and surprising life course.

Admittedly, many of us pursue a dream job or function in another direction than expected according to our education. More often than not, we encounter unexpected combinations proving that people find passion and work ethic within more than one venture.

Take, for example, the well-known British conductor, Daniel Harding. Last September, he led the Opening Night of our Concertgebouw Orchestra for 3,000 people on Dam Square in Amsterdam. His combined job is outstanding: besides performing the finest classical orchestra works, he is an airline pilot with Air France. Therefore, his choice of a program for the concert came as no surprise: a musical journey through Europe!

Last week, I became acquainted with another captain. Jonathan flies for British Airways, in addition to his work as a photographer and professional hi-fi reviewer.

Closer to home, in the Netherlands, I recently had the opportunity to meet a fellow writer. Aside from holding a responsible board position with a large company, he can be seen and heard regularly on classical concert stages performing as a violinist. What’s more, in his spare time, he pursues his passion for high-end audio and shares insights with the readers of the Dutch audio magazine Music Emotion.

And when I look in the mirror, I see myself as one of the examples mentioned above. I started as a young concert pianist, after that given piano lessons for a decade, then grew and reached an incredibly wonderful state. Owing to my musical background and daily piano playing, I use my love, passion, and emotion to enrich audio and hi-fi, all the while putting music in the foreground.

An interesting detail is that, in my experience, most musicians are initially not quite interested in technically perfect music reproduction. We listen to the performance, notes, emotion – I used to do that through a crackling transistor radio. It had a cassette deck, into which I endlessly put BASF tapes until they broke.

In the ’80s, when I was 17-18, I went to Japan on a concert tour. While there, I received a Sony Walkman as a gift. It was super small, nice-looking, flat, metallic-blue colored, and came with a collection of super quality cassette tapes with classical music. I could not believe my ears!

That was my first introduction to the audio world. After this one, it took another 15 years to get fully immersed in it, but I was already enthralled.

Everything evolves in life. Nature, people, technology unfold and expand. All we need is a “primal experience” as a starting point. Once on the road, it keeps going.

From a Walkman to records, CDs, then streaming audio. For the analog enthusiasts, LPs will always remain a reference point, of course. (Where have the singles gone?) Tapes (reels) are also already quite popular. Small speakers give way to a whole hi-fi system.

Talking about evolution, over the years I have noticed more and more questions and interest from friends in the music world about the perfect sound reproduction.

So, we’ve come full circle.

Music enchants practically everyone.

On a creaking bar piano, during the many flying hours of a pilot, listening to Spotify through earbuds, through almost-perfect sounding audio installations, on the Dam Square during an open-air concert.

Also, the music itself evolves –  but that’s for next time.

Image: Sony Vintage. Source: Cassette Players Walkman Blog