Play & Background Noise

Noise can be distracting during a scene. Loud voices can be distracting as well especially when it’s laughter. However, not all noises are created the same.

I love music. From the time I was old enough to understand what I was listening to, I have had a complete love affair with it. It doesn’t matter what kind, if it peaks my curiosity, invokes an emotional or intellectual response, I will listen to it. But just as some noises will completely detract from a scene, so do certain musical choices work at some times and not at others.

Paddles (the club in NYC) has a sound system that pumps out rhythmic “club music” – heavy beats, synthesizers and repetition. Often it merely fades into the background and becomes a thumping undercurrent to what’s happening all around. Some might find it annoying but whether it works or not depends on the type of scene that’s being played out. If it is ritualistic rather than disciplinary, like a flogging or bondage scene, I find that the music actually adds to it. It becomes a soundtrack that drives the action forward and adds an otherworldliness to what is happening. For those who have seen it, think of the scene at the beginning of The Matrix when Neo meets Trinity.

For other scenes at the club, like a traditional discipline scene (schoolgirl, daughter, etcetera), the music is likely to be extremely distracting. There’s so much to a scene like that that’s verbal, like the scolding,  that it requires a person or both people to be heard by their partner. There are times at Paddles when I have to spank someone with no talking at all because there is no way I can be heard without yelling and the yelling itself becomes a headspace destroyer.

Moving into private play, music can be a nice background or soundtrack for the room – filling up those silent moments with something that is unobtrusive. For example, if I was doing a scene where I was a Teacher/Principal/Dean spanking a bad student in my office, I might want to have some light classical or light jazz music playing in the background. For me, it just announces that this is the Teacher’s personal space – that the student has entered his world and that even what is being listened to is under his control. In this case, the music has to be carefully chosen as well. I wouldn’t suggest a symphony because they are often extremely dynamic and can be jarring at moments – listening music rather than background music. Perhaps a piano or violin sonata, maybe a string quartet. Many choices that won’t overpower the room. As far as jazz is concerned – a piano trio is a good choice, something from the mid 50s to the mid 60s should be perfect. Jazz where the performers are “blowing” as hard as they can might be a bit much.

Do I think too much? As someone who loves to roleplay, I believe in atmosphere and setting, not just acting. You may not have the right furniture or room or props but you can create a good foundation for headspace with the right choices. Music isn’t right for every scene but it might be an addition to some.


4 Responses to “Play & Background Noise”

  1. Not overthinking – music has a huge influence on mood. I love all sorts of music as well. I used to read books and imagine what music would work best if it were turned into a movie – and when a movie has been scored with music that “doesn’t fit” it throws me off. One of my favorite shows, The Sopranos, did a great job of selecting music to heighten or underscore the themes being presented. Good topic.

  2. Shiny: I’m a sucker for soundtracks as well. In my professional life, I have to choose the right music to go with the right voice or audio – often to create the right mood.

  3. Now that’s something for the vendor room at SL. A CD called:

    “Thrashing Sounds”

    A musical soundtrack with themes devoted to setting a spanking scene.

    Makes a perfect holiday gift for the ones you love… to see over your knee.

  4. Brian: I remember one woman selling a CD of the actual soundtrack of a spanking taking place. Not sure why I would want this except to annoy the neighbors. Come to think of it, it would be interesting to see people’s reactions if that was booming out of a car stereo when you’re driving by – shaking subwoofer and all.

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