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What a swell party this is

It is one of the most frustrating things in this life – that I cannot appreciate the full weight of the moment at hand – at the moment at hand. It is only in retrospect that a moment gathers importance, gravity, consequence.
This seems particularly true of music. There is an emotional relationship with music both at the moment at hand and in the memory.
Eno’s treatment of Pachelbel’s Canon had an immediate impact, but is as nothing to the impact informed by the memory of the music in context and, critically, the impact it has since had upon my approach to music – even if that aspect is so ingrained as to be be near subconscious – revealed only by the surprise of hearing the original once again.
…And it happens again and again and often in unexpected ways. The curtain that simply would not rise in 1980 while the Banshees kicked off a set with Israel – then half way through when the curtain finally rose; the shock of the back projection with scudding clouds across a piercing sky. Or the sweaty grime of The Venue when M Gira howled Jesus Christ Come Down! in the midst of an astonishing Sex God Sex, or Mark Eitzel weeping his way through The Thorn in my Side in a bar on Houston Avenue, or the smell of candles in a bitter cold church in the dead of winter while the SCO played Taverner’s Last Sleep of the Virgin, or the beautiful, brutal shock of ecstasy when William Bennett gave me a Whitehouse disk and I allowed Just Like A Cunt to wash right through me. I finally “got it”.
Or, of course, the 2am wine-drunk beauty of John Coltrane and Nina Simone nights, the greater appreciation of eternity with each listening of Part’s Summa…
Music the trigger. Music; forever gateway to the transcendental moment at hand – revisited. Because it was never this good at the time. It is served so well by memory and by time. How, I wonder, does it all land in the heart when you know that time, at last, is running out?

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