Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I bought Joy a copy of Aerial recently; she was a massive Kate Bush fan when she was younger, I'm something of a medium-sized fan. But while it's lovely to hear that voice again, so far neither of us have really succumbed to Aerial's universally-vaunted genius. The other night I thought I'd give it another go, and was musing, as on previous attempts, on how it's a bit decorous, a bit prog-lite (and oh Lord that CD art work, that booklet!), a bit late Eighties David Sylvian solo album tasteful, ultimately a bit sonically safe for something recorded in 2005. Mid-mistresspiece, I wandered off to do something else--get Kieran ready for bed. Then suddenly my attention was grabbed. Something seemed to be rising inside the music, a vespertine twinkle-drone of abstract gorgeousness. And I was like, did I just miss this element on previous listens? Returning to the living room, my ears established that the loveliness actually emanated from outdoors, looked through the window and saw what looked like a protest march. Which is sort of what it was: a demonstration in favour of senseless acts of beauty. It looked like every other person in the throng was carrying a boombox, whence came the glistening mist of drones. I realised almost instantly it was this peripatetic event that goes on every year through the streets of downtown New York, and that I always meant to participate in: "Unsilent Night", " an outdoor ambient music piece for an INFINITE number of boom box tape players... each playing a separate tape which is part of the piece," the brainchild of musician Phil Kline (more info here). Absolutely magical. The cloud of sound and its enablers drifted up Avenue A and were gone. Leaving us once again with the politely pretentious Aerial.

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