From today’s New York Times, Amar G. Bose, developer of Bose acoustics, died at his home July 12.
During an interview on NPR a few years ago, Florida author Carl Hiaasen, shared a few of his writer friends’ idiosyncrasies when taking pen in hand or tapping keyboards and typewriters, using words to create art. I especially remembered the author who used gun shooting range earmuffs to block out noise while writing. This writer’s tool for noise reduction remained with me since I am easily distracted and sensitive to noise. I suggested to my husband that noise cancelling headphones may help me cope with extraneous sounds, like when he watches a NASCAR race.
Weeks later, a small package arrived. Inside were earphones (like one would use with a portable electronic device). The earphones operated with a signal that worked to cancel noise, the literature claimed. I tried them. I smiled, thinking, nope, these aren’t the type of noise canceling headphones I tried to describe. The earphones were short on noise cancelling. They sit in a lonely drawer.
On a flight to a grandson’s graduation, I sat beside a young neuro-psychiatrist. He pulled out a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones. Before he could put them on, the flight attendant asked my husband if he were a lawyer. Wearing a suit on a Saturday morning prompted her question. During our extended conversation, we discovered that we lived in the same neighborhood. We shared similar family issues. The psychiatrist joined our conversation. His Bose headphones were put away.
According to his obituary, Amar Bose was a devotee of classical music. My husband and I enjoy classical music. I grew up around all kinds of music. While I was listening to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” one summer afternoon, my father said, “You need to turn down the volume, you’re shaking the leaves on the trees!” I was 15, though sitting on the front porch, I had been carried to another place through Gershwin’s music. My dad’s comment startled me back into reality.
Two uncles shared a friendly competition of stereo systems and music collections. One uncle loved to put headphones on you while he played Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.” He laughed as you listened.
“I’ll Take You There,” by the Staples singers, featuring marvelous Mavis Staples, is a song about heaven. The song from 1972, is also recorded on the Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration compact disc, recorded in 2007.
Mr. Bose, blessings for you in heaven. You might run into my uncles who will share their love of all kinds of music, including classical.