In early November 2003 Harald Fiedler and Karin Ahlrichs of the German "Pipedown" group visited us for an exchange of information and ideas. Unlike our organisation, Pipedown is only concerned with "piped" music of the kind mentioned on page one. They feel that there are other organisations around to work against other types of noise that they can specifically focus on just this one.
During an afternoon and evening we discussed the possible causes of the seemingly insatiable desire for nearly omnipresent musical entertainment, and strategies to effectively counteract this trend; a rather complex matter. One of the major causes is the fact that ever more people become literally addicted to musical entertainment. Another one is that there are more than enough people to misuse this pathological human trait and push this drug to profit from it. Quite often this possibility to profit is merely perceived but still equally stubbornly pursued.
We cannot keep people from holding what ever desires, though, we do insist that they be considerate in their pursuit of perhaps mistaken happiness and demand that they not impose their music on others. It is particularly difficult to get people with these specific traits to change their attitude. Trying to achieve such a change through force also makes no good sense. Hence, we have to focus our efforts on ongoing educational campaigns, with which to reach as many people as possible.
Some ideas of what to do sprang to mind like to make frequent announcements on radio and TV to keep the volume of one's gadget at room-level, in consideration of the neighbours. Others are to petition postal administrations to both, use a postage-cancellation stamp with a "pro-quiet" message and issue a stamp or a series of stamps with corresponding motifs. It would be very helpful if we could present attractive designs, for instance to promote the annual International Noise Awareness Day. We would be very grateful if one/some of our members could lend his/her/their artistic talent to help with that.
While in Vancouver, Mr. Fiedler and Ms. Ahlrichs discovered two restaurants, one with no music playing at all, the other promptly turning it off upon their request. Our visitors were very pleased with that and both, food and service. We welcome such "good soundscape" news and recommend the two restaurants below:
No music: Garden Villa Seafood Restaurant, 127 E. Pender St., Vancouver (604) 688 3877.
music turned off: Jin Way House, 4448 W. 10th Ave., Vancouver (604) 228 9963 Fun-couver fall-out
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