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October 29th, 2013

When you watch or participate in active pursuits, what do you hear? Perfect quality music has been portable for decades now…so whatever your preference for exercise outdoors, your favourite soundtracks can be there.

Fast-moving sports which may go spectacularly wrong, won’t really suit Bach’s Air on the G string, however serene the scenery may be. A score added to footage afterwards can always be selected to fit…but what do you pick in advance?

Movie-makers know how to add aural backdrops to exciting footage, and Oakenfold’s Ready Steady Go in the Bourne trilogy films might be appropriate for use on a number of high speed activities, though we couldn’t recommend Mr Bourne’s rapid route around Paris in the Mini.

Sometimes it’s all in the name…what could be better than Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross for a scenic sequence in a glider? Or for a leisurely sail on the ocean.

For activities involving slow progress to a high place then a thrilling descent on wheels or skis (or a leap into empty air), you want music with pace that varies to match the experience at the time…how about Dire Straits’ upbeat ending to Telegraph Road, for downhill on the Transfagarasan Highway?

The best thing about music is how energised it makes the listener feel while exercising. So it’s hard to think of Rossini’s Call to the Cows on an exhausting ride over rain-swept hillsides, or indeed Gimme Shelter, set to indoor bowls.

As for climbing, what could provide non-distracting musical accompaniment for the business of reaching each new foothold and advancing upward with dazzling scenery all around? Please, just don’t say The Only Way Is Up.

But perhaps the ultimate challenge is making music while you exercise…it can be done, as here.

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