Ten days with: Henrietta Smith-Rolla

"Listening and travelling can put many things into perspective."

The fourth in a series of diary entries by women composers, curated by Writer and Performer Sarah Sayeed.

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View from my bus seat whilst wearing headphones

It is important to see a human's face when communicating. Even though this is not always possible, we as humans need facial expressions to communicate. Subtle facial signals are part of a larger communication process, but a simple smile can indicate our approval of a message, while a scowl might signal displeasure or disagreement. Understanding facial expressions and their meaning is an important part of communication. When the face cannot be seen it is harder to communicate.

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I’ve always listened to music when I travel, a habit that began with my first portable cassette player. Whenever I leave the house I’m listening to music.


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I find this time to be one of the most valuable times of my day. Listening and traveling can put many things into perspective. A time to listen, to watch others process thoughts and my environment.


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When someone traveling wears a pair of headphones, they physically look disconnected from other humans travelling around them....


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....they appear to have no desire to listen to or connect with the reality surrounding them, existing in their own reality. I have drawn this theory from my own experiences.


[Read the rest of the series here.]