Musical Moment 1 : The Symphony That Wasn’t

This is the first in a series of old-man rambles about key musical moments in my life. If I think how music has intertwined itself in the most important parts of my life, I can’t imagine those moments without it.

Now, on with the first moment…

Twenty years ago, I was waiting for my girlfriend to get ready and come downstairs. I’d never been loved or in love before, never been kissed before. And now, here I was, waiting for this gorgeous woman who was so beautiful it made me hurt just to look at her.

She was my first.

I was absolutely, madly happy. It was summer and the window next to me was slightly open. Through it, I could hear the sounds over the Derwent valley: boyracers zooming by, copcar sirens in pursuit, kids shouting and playing, the odd house alarm or car bleeping.

I had that bulletproof feeling that you get with your first love, I felt nothing could spoil this happiness.

As I listened to all the sounds, they seemed to be orchestrated into a fabulous piece of music, like some kind of beautiful microtonal Partch-esque ballet (bear in mind I hadn’t heard Harry Partch at that age). I knew consciously that there was no actual order or arrangement there, that the order was a part of my cognition rather than the intentions of a composer. But that only enhanced the beauty of the wonderful symphony I was hearing.

I sat back and listened to all the tiny nuances, the occasional dog yip or lobbed curse and everything, everything, fitted together. Like clockwork, the different miniscule “parts” in the piece meshed together, creating something I’d never heard before. It was music made out of love. Not alcohol or drugs, just pure love.

It really felt like a unique piece of music composed specifically for me.

And it was.

I’ll never hear it again.


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