OKAY, SO IT’S common knowledge that hi-fi guys are cut from a different cloth.
Maybe we do occasionally absent-mindedly leave the pliers in the fridge, and it’s possibly true that some of us will happily spend hours at a time comparing the minutest sonic differences between brands/types of esoteric cable.
But we’re real people, too, and with this in mind, I’d like to commend Martin van Rooyen, MD of NZ amplifier specialists Perreaux, for his latest newsletter. It’s got the usual updates on it, but right at the top, well, it breaks tradition and makes a stand for being an all-round natural man. [And let's face it, most stereo nerd's are men].
Here’s Martin’s heartfelt message, with which I would like to heartily concur. It’s all about balance, after all.
“I’m interested in all things natural. In recent years I’ve enjoyed watching UK chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s inspirational series called “Escape to River Cottage”. Hugh hires an old country house in Dorset and his series documents his many food gathering, growing and cooking related exploits over the course of a year.
I’m also passionate about creating natural diversity in our garden. Our lives are busier than they have ever been in the past. Most fail to fully appreciate what is slowly unfolding in our environment. Our sprawling garden at home is a good point, we don’t have time for formal gardens and to slavishly hand weed, so to serve a dual purpose, we have decided to plant many more flowering trees, which in time will prevent weeds from re-appearing and if the trees are carefully selected will also encourage the return of insects and birdlife.
The simple things are usually the best.
It is hard to defy the logic on economic grounds of store purchased bread. Have you ever considered making your own? To me, it’s not about the price or its’ convenience, but about the satisfaction that comes from doing something for myself. The effort and patience required to measure out the ingredients, hand knead the dough, set aside to prove and the smell of freshly baked bread.
Marty’s easy bread recipe (double mix)
Heap the following ingredients directly onto a clean bench top.
6 cups wholemeal flour
6 cups white flour
Make a well in the flour mound and into it place the following
8 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of oil
6 teaspoons of dry yeast
Pour warm water 1 cup at a time into the mound (approx 4 -5) and mix with one hand by stirring the ingredient mix in centre with the flour and slowly bring into a big dough ball.
With both hands knead the dough for 10mins. You have got to completely work it.
Oil two large baking tins, cut the dough in half and insert.
Set aside for 1 hour in a warm place to prove. Tip out of tins and re-work and reinsert and set aside for another 1/2 hour.
Bake in a 200C oven for 38mins.
You might say… what’s the point… it will cost me more in ingredients and power alone! The point is it not only feeds your body but it also feeds your soul. Try it sometime… you will be amazed at the sense of wellbeing it can bring.
Do it yourself activities:
Cooking… e.g. bread making
Painting the house
Cleaning your car
Gardening… plant a tree
Walking the dog
If you’re a music aficionado… great… follow it… seek out new and enjoyable music, tweak and optimise your system… try and extract the most from it. Remember it’s not about loud… but about reserve and depth. Quality recordings, high powered systems, carefully arranged listening environments will all serve to significantly heighten your listening pleasure… Go full circle, appreciate nature, bake bread, chop wood, listen to music… be a man and follow your passions!”
We say, be a man and sign up to the Perreaux newsletter. It’s definitely one of the more idiosyncratic emissions from hi-fi land, and always well worth a read. GARY STEEL