Friday, November 4, 2016

Memory and Music

Every now and again, a song or a performer strikes the heart deeply enough to rock us to the depths of our souls. The right music. Different songs for many people. Different performers for them as well.

Last night, one of those performers played his heart out in one small bar. Why was this performer different? What did he have that touched our souls? Not an easy answer. Perhaps it is that all who were there to hear him were immersed in the same mythos ~ the one created by and for this particular performer.

Over a decade ago, we celebrated this performer with and at a fundraiser because we were certain he'd be leaving our presence soon. He'd been living with AIDS for a decade and things were looking dubious. He remains with us, in this world, on this side of the veil, and filled with a passion when he performs that puts all in his presence to shame.

Although he no longer has the stamina to play three or four hour gigs, what he does play brings all of us to that point of letting go and riding the wave of the music to forgetfulness or remembrance, whichever place we need to reach at the moment. During one of the songs, with a band consisting of drums, piano, trumpet and trombone complementing his guitar and vocals, I was swept into an ecstasy of spirit that had nothing to do with the half-glass of wine I'd consumed. I could feel the music within and beneath me, carrying me away. Even as a music lover, very few performers and performances bring me to that point. Suddenly, everything was in its proper perspective, The music, the people, the time ~ all was right with the world.

What music brings you to that place of forgetting or remembering? Is it a type of music? a performer? a particular song? Does certain music bring amnesia? Other music bring memory? Are you in the moment with the music? To what era/time in your life does it transport you?

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