From here in my stereo room, in my day basement ten steps down from my entry hallway, much can seem perfect if I close my eyes and just listen. I’ve all my gear arranged in front of me, across the immaculate, midnight-blue Chinese carpet and against the acoustic-paneled wall opposite where I sit in my leather club chair—an acquisition from Pottery Barn during my middle-aged bachelor days. So much born of savings and sacrifice, but I hardly care, since the sound here is so gorgeous it lifts me out of things into a pure fabric of wonderment, adrift amidst all the sublime welter of notes. I start with piano music in the morning, Mozart or Beethoven concertos performed by the likes of Alfred Brendel or Claudio Arrau, their right-hand runs so liquidinous across the keyboard it’s as though a clear water of crystalline singing were running over a streambed of orchestral accompaniment. I glance at the gleaming enameling on my speakers, brows-high, piano-black towers that mirror the inset ceiling lights when I switch them on, and I begin to want to flutter my hands like seabirds barely aloft over a dance line of shorebreak waves and indulge myself in this rapturous sequestration with music all around me.