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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Grand Canyon Syndrome

Everyone who had the breeze - yours truly, humbly, included - to play alive in front of an audience, small or large isn't important... well, those know what I'm talking about!
The Grand Canyon Syndrome, which is illness and drug together, happens at first notes, no... few milliseconds before the first notes.
I experienced it twice in my life as a part-time musician: you don't see anyone in the audience because of the lights, and your senses are experiencing an utmost attention, you hear the electrons in the air;-), feel, more than smelling, the heavy purple colour curtain in front of you, while it's ineluttably opening... it's like you're on the threshold of the Grand Canyon, with no ropes or parachute... instead with an uneseful wooden instrument in yr. hands... as inappropriate as wearing a scuba-suit while going at yr. first date with a lady.
I swear I "felt" this... and you know people is over there, in the dark, dozens and dozens eyes, brains, hearts all waiting for anything you'll decide to do: you can freaky go laughing, playing with a reversed guitar, farting... you feel omnipotent, invincible and SOOOOO naked... by convention, tradition and common sense, anyone seated at the center of a stage with an acoustic guitar is perceived as a musician, not a juggler or a freak... so the vertigo, the threshold-like sensation, like it came, it goes... and fingers go and sound spreads... like World goes on.
I recently acquired from a friend the complete series of EMI "Reflexe" - "Stationen Europaischer Musik" in ten record-boxes... about 70 records in 120 percent unplayed conditions, which my friend purchased back in the '70s - one every month, as they were quite expensive in their hey days - because, as he told me: "... he liked the covers..."
I had, bought in the years, maybe a dozen sparse issues from this huge goldmine of good taste, good music and good playing and care for details (cloth covered boxes, recording, liner notes, playing) truly coming from a lesser rushy time... but when I finally purchased the whole lot, I felt like I finally closed a circle.
I'm lovingly, fondly exploring this "opus magna" with respect, like walking in a temple where monks meditate... and... amazing, I'm playing on my turntable a disc of lute duets: Paul O'Dette and Hopkinson Smith and, to my surprise... I feel, clearly hear and feel, the above sense of (musicians) being behind a threshold, like in real life... a palpable sense of wait before the first note flowing, the air at the recording venue is thick, solid... not noisy, despite the usual beloved (of mine) birds singing in the background, but "still"... like before it rains.
... when Music flows, at last... it's an orgasm, a fire which gently move the air in my music room, as well... air which is about 30 years old, but real air; in the record(s) pauses the sense of an "event", more than simply a "listening" is dramatic.
Like Frank Zappa's Peter Occhiogrosso bio reading, they should play these records in the primary schools... sure more and more youngers would choose music, instead of... a lesser life in a lesser world.

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