Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fantastic evening last Thursday going to a hearing of Eliane Radigue's work at a church near Bank - an 84-minute piece of deep minimalism in which everyone sat in a circle, eyes closed, concentrating on the music.
Going to the ‘concert’ (in reality a public broadcasting of her work) made me realise that many live gigs are actually the worst places imaginable to concentrate on music: there’s the mobile phones aloft, the toilet queues, the uninterested half-drunk audience at the back drinking Carling beer (the only on offer if it’s the ‘Carling Academy’), the unavoidable sound of someone’s mundane conversation near you…Thursday’s experience offered completely a different experience, where all you could do is concentrate on the oscillation vibrations of the music. Sometimes I think The Luminaire (RIP) were right with those signs telling people who liked to talk in the middle of gigs to go downstairs, as puritanical as it sounded. Thursday achieved a kind of beauty and purity with its hypnotic hour and a half, leaving everyone spellbound and drowsy at the same time by the end. ‘Somnambulant’ I think is the word I’m looking for – but in the right way rather than in the pejorative sense. Now I know what they mean by the phrase 'Deep Listening'.

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