Wednesday, 3 July 2013

How to disappear completely

"That there
That's not me
I'm not here
This isn't happening"

Once in a while I'll look in the mirror and not recognise myself, because who is this 'I'? What does it really matter, what is the point of exiting, what is the reason for getting up in the morning and going to sleep at night only to do the same thing, endlessly looping, until one day your whole life has passed you by and you wake up old, forgetful and ready to stop breathing.

In most moments of wonder, of insecurity, of not knowing, of not wanting what I have, of wanting to be anywhere but here, well, then it is time for music. Music has the ability to transport me away from all that is into all that could be without having to move. It is an escape mechanism that requires nothing more than a song and a pair of headphones. Mostly I'll turn to old playlists that have accompanied me since the age of teenage angst : Sia's Breathe Me, Ray LaMontagne's Lessons Learned, Sufjan Stevens's For the Widows in Paradise, for the fatherless in Ypsilanti, and then, always, Radiohead (either the post's title track, or their version of Wish You Were Here from the Lords of Dogtown soundtrack with Sparklehorse).

I like them all because the instruments and the voices become tangible: as Finn Andrews of The Veils says, "a large problem with the digital era as it seems to me, is that nothing knows how to rot", and thus everything sounds too retouched. There is a time and a place for electronic/digital music, but the quest for the answers to existence seeks music that is itself wondering and imperfect.

A friend posted the following image/quote, and perhaps that is the answer: to understand myself, I must swallow a world as well. And what better way to maintain this consumption of ideas and questions than by immersing myself in music.

Poster design by Brett Thurman

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