ensommeillé (apprenti) wrote,

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August in New York: Moments and their Soundtracks

Recent events and my innate lethargy conspired to keep me away from this new journal for some time now. Here are some memorable moments that I had with music during that time:

* A gray, slightly rainy afternoon, wandering the streets around the Guggenheim Museum, listening to 1954-era Thelonious Monk on my portable CD player while watching pale, muted sunlight reflect off wet sidewalks.

*Relaxing on my bed at twilight, a warm breeze passing through the open blinds of the windows, marveling at the room-dominating throb of Public Image Limited's Second Edition emanating from my stereo speakers. Even though the CD hasn't been remastered, the sheer tactile nature of the experience was remarkable. This is one of the few recordings I own that seem to have been designed more to be felt than to be heard. After almost 25 years, it still sounds fresh and unique (even though it's also dark in a dated, posing-existentialist sort of way). Jah Wobble's bottomless, oceanic bass lines contrasting with the glassy high-end swirl of ride cymbals and primitive electronics, with really nothing of note in the middle, all of it pulsing and swirling endlesssly while, in this case, twilight deepened into night -- it was very nice (although the neighbors might not have agreed).

*With some loved ones, making a path through a cavernous stretch of midtown Broadway that was already deserted by seven in the afternoon, enjoying the heaviness of the warm air in which the only sounds were the rushing air of ventilation systems and cars and buses passing by. Drifting though the city with no specific goal other than this sort of underappreciated unexpected, as the Situationists recommended, is an activity that is dear to my heart. I'm almost always pleasantly surprised by the results.

*One o'clock in the morning, savoring a warm bath, feeling slightly euphoric from a glass of chilled masticha (a Greek liqueur), Sugar Hiccup by Cocteau Twins roaring and ringing into my ears from a CD walkman, sounding dazzlingly transcendent, whereas it sounded merely good when I listened to it again later when fully sober.

*Phil Niblock's space-filling, time-obliterating, perception-tweaking, elevating clouds of pure sound (in this case, his recent Touch Food CD) on a bright summer afternoon in my apartment. The music of this septuagenarian composer from Staten Island deserves at least an entry in itself to even begin to be adequately described, so I'll say no more for now.

*What I'm listening to at this moment is quite nice for a Friday night in a dark room, gazing at a glowing screen, sending off thoughts to anyone out there who might possibly be interested...

(There were other good moments as well.)
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