You’re not alone. I think perhaps there maybe a gene sequence for musically expressive people (“composers, musicians”) that makes them unable (or find it very difficult) to treat music as wallpaper.
I never listen to CDs or radio, and don’t own any kind of MP3 players or similar. Music to me is not and never will be a “passive experience”. I truly wish this were not the case. I sometimes find myself envious of those that “just hear” music and not concern themselves with the production, the structure(s), the cadences (was that a suspended cadence just then?) — it’s a hopeless, pointless task to even try to change it.
I have an analogy I use when I try to explain it to non-musical folks — the problem, is it sounds elitist. That is *not* how it is meant, I can assure you!
“For you, it seems to me, music is a photo — a two-dimensional representation of the composer’s/artist’s world. For me, it’s a landscape, a country, a place I can go, visit, *be*.”
I cannot be there and be here. It’s one or the other, never both at the same time.