Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

If you've ever heard this piece of music in a chainstore this is probably why

A few years ago I was in a chainstore and heard a piece of music that sounded so unlike any piece of music that I'd have expected to hear in such a place that I paid a bit more attention to it.

Normally I'm a bit NIMBYish about music in shops and restaurants and have often asked them to turn it down (or ideally off). I love live music but songs that are thoughtlessly piped into shops as audio wallpaper, particularly if they're a bit too loud, tend to make me shop elsewhere. I'm not alone in this NIMBYism and my mum used to be a member of Pipedown (I think Stephen Fry's a patron) - she had tinnitus and found having to contend with shit music didn't help the experience.


This music sounded a bit prog rock lite and while I might not rush out and buy it I was curious as to who had generated it, but the staff were acclimatised to the sound background and hadn't even noticed it.

Recently I was in another shop and heard it again - but nowadays I have Shazam to help me find out what a bit of music is and... it's Christian rock ;)

Band: Iona, Song: Matthew the Man, Album: The Book of Kells

aka "The Instrumental music that plays in lots of retail shops" - this video below explains what's going on rather nicely. There's a device called an Imagesound AHD1 which does the actual piping of the piped music via the internet. When the connection drops it defaults to playing its 'holdingstream' which includes the Iona song. If you just want to go straight to the song it's at 37s in or you can hear it from the Amazon link above.

If it says it's restricted because of EMI copyright then you click on the YouTube icon in the playing window you can watch this video from within YouTube on Cameron's RediffusionMusic channel (see comments below).

One mystery down... the internet is immensely useful for this sort of thing :)


  1. Iona is an awesome band. We were fortunate enough to see them live when we lived in England in the earlyh 90's. Have every album and there music is still the only music that I will listen to by choice.

    They were unbelievable live. I'm a muso and I was totally blown away by the complex timings and their live sound.

  2. Cameron Birse/RediffusionMusicSat Jan 14, 10:17:00 pm 2012

    Hello guys! I am RediffusionMusic, and I am REALLY happy to see this!! Thanks for this, I never even knew this video would help so many people!! I infact heard this in my local Burger King branch today.

  3. Hey Cameron, thanks for commenting and for making the video in the first place. I was so pleased that the mystery had been finally solved!

    Rather fond of the song - I think I was listening to quite a lot of Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree at the time and so when I heard this song appear in ... I think it was Superdrug ... I was a bit intrigued by it. Definitely sounded out of place.


  4. Yeah, and the band is NOT getting any royalties for this!

  5. Why not? I mean surely they should, so what went wrong? Thanks for the comment.

  6. Cameron Birse/RediffusionMusicSat Mar 10, 10:55:00 am 2012

    What's funny is that it's called a Holding Stream and it is not a "stream" in any way, it is stored on the AHD1's hard drive and there is a couple more tracks, in McDonald's I was sitting eating my chicken selects..and this other instrumental song came on! just as I whipped SoundHound out and connected to The Cloud WiFi, it cut off, and Pixie Lott's "All About Tonight" came on. I have heard the Iona one in Wickes, Odeon, Burger King, McDonald's, Kwik Save (no longer under existance) and Poundland, under the "Get top brand value that'll blow you away" ads, it is a cover version of the song though.

    If you look on my channel you'll see a video in Wickes, 2 of the speakers and 1 of the TOA 500 Series amp and the AHD1.

  7. Cool thanks - Cameron's channel is and I've added a link to the main blog post.

  8. Cameron Birse/RediffusionMusicWed Apr 11, 03:28:00 am 2012

    Thanks Jo!

  9. Cameron Birse/RediffusionMusicWed Apr 11, 03:32:00 am 2012

    Ps- I recently found out that the DMX Music ProFusion X and ProFusion D systems are built on the same scale. If you have a look at the ProFusion D especially, you will see some similarities.


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