Lyn Horton: Take It From the Top

December 31st 2009 05:32 pm

Copyright © 2009 Lyn Horton

It is the end of the year. No, the first decade of the 21st century. And I do feel the anvil of time descending from the sky to crush me. My own age.

I hear the horns, the bass and the drums from the next room; the sound weaving its way around the corners of the walls that become the dividing lines between here and there.

This is poetry… a diary entry more than a report, requiring referential footnotes. Poetry sometimes skips the grammar and the punctuation, formalized in text books. Those saucy steps also happen in improvised music… music that lunges out of bounds passing through the wall that constantly presents itself at the point when no one can leap to the chance of the unknowable future, which, when speculated upon, has already become false and another story, rather than some indescribable set of circumstances.

Words and music will always be intertwined because the essence of the language is similar. Only the form changes. Words and music transcend the ages; transcend the decades, the years, the days, the moments. They both convey how time erodes itself into other passages and channels to forests of growth.

And as I listen to the music, it wraps around my body and keeps me safer than the heat from the wood stove or the roof over my head. The music is the bastion of a sovereign sacredness. The music is a tool with which the bishops should bless and the priests should offer communion. Music is bereft of limitations once it leaves the lips, the fingers, the appendages of the musicians who make it.

I take the experience, the knowledge of the numerous records I have heard and, proportionately, the handful of live performances I have attended, to another level. To the level floating above the troubles I share with the entire world. Can only a few comprehend the purity and the holiness of musical or artistic experience? The experience that cleanses, like the taking of the wine and the bread?

Is it a good thing to sully improvised music with the derogatory description of “noise” and denigrate those who create it? How many people would be out of a job if the chance to do so were taken away? Who is to say where the music comes from except the persons who are closest to it? Is listening subjective? To a degree, it is. But the subject of my continual interests can be objectified and heard as it goes, flows, expands, contracts, gets louder, softer and constructs irretrievable events. Its message comes later, after its digestion. Oh, some would say, that after digestion, comes the crap. But, the process of digestion is the uptake of ingredients that supply energy to the body as steered by the mind. What comes after digestion is also a renewed perceptual confidence to do something else in a life that has nothing to do with music. That is maybe about cooking or painting, or mowing the lawn or sweeping the stairs, or folding the laundry. There are no dividing lines between the ingestion of the music and the aftermath of its experience.

As 2010 slams itself down at midnight, I will feel different. I will be closer to the eternal light. The light will shine brighter because the music, like a one-thousand voice choir, is ushering me to sanctity. I have to let go of the trappings that critical eyes cast upon me and the music and simply move ahead in a dance that I have never before known. A dance where no suffering or pain inhibits its flourish. As for the words, the question will always remain: could have I said this better? The answer is: yes, in a different context, in a different time.

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