Monday, June 18, 2012

That's the din

I read somewhere that the music I like now is the music I'll like for the rest of my life. My fucking brain or something like that won't find new kinds of music pleasurable from about this point on. What the hell is that? Good thing I like this music. C'mon youth wasn't carefree it was intense and intense is good. It's like this house. I never want to come here but when I do I end up liking it. Just to see everything through that prism again you know? A happy youth I must have had overall. Or was I miserable but with a poor memory? Oh whatever. Remember that old record player in the lime green case, the one with the detachable knobs? I saw it in the garage the other day. In the garage Casi! I put it on and it worked. I mean I didn't have any records to really test it but it was spinning and that was amazing enough for me. I remember the oldsters would start in with the endless clave patterns and you and I would reach for that thing in protest. Then up to your room for a little Reader's Digest Edition of the LVB piano sonatas, remember thinking RD was like good? And remember we would limit ourselves to the pre-Heiligenstadt Testament ones to exclude our runaway favorite, the cataclysmic Appasionata, with you being definitely partial to the Opus 28 Pastorale because it was supposedly after this one that he told Krumholz he would be taking a new path and me arguing that those kinds of ancillary matters were not fairly considerable and that sometimes, just occasionally, overwhelming popularity is warranted and that the second 27, The Moonlight, with its initial melancholia was the greater work? Remember that? Well if you listen to them now I bet you'll be sent up to that room whether you're willing or not. And if you listen the right way then you're forced to actually be that person. Isn't that just the height of weirdness? That's what this house is, a giant green record player with detachable knobs, which is usually fine but can sometimes be opposite. Sometimes it can be the realization that images seem blurrier now, sounds more muffled, and yet somehow we're inappositely picking up speed. We're picking up speed and you and I have been thrown out of the kitchen where we used to make ice cream floats, armed solely with ATM cards that have our pictures on them and a little bar graph in the corner that's somehow linked to our fingerprints but only until they get the DNA coding capability fully functional and maybe your green record player does still technically work but not really and don't pay it any mind regardless because I have a fifty disc CD player that positively compels neighbors to call the police and blast it anyway so that when the opening movement of the C minor Symphony nears its close at allegro con brio tempo I swear Casi that the sky is going to literally open up and forget all of Ludwig's later Ode to Joy crap because now it's God — for want of a better word — surveying the broken to regretfully diagnose a violent remedy then reaching down and doing something about this mess, no longer content to just watch, and you were right about Lincoln Center that time because yet it was great and how could it fail to be but it does have to be louder, or more accurately we needed more money to get closer and make it louder, loud enough that the notes come straight from heaven, replace your bone marrow and you start to question yourself as a physical being and I think the more time passes the louder and louder it will have to be in order to be heard above the din . . . hear that? That's the din."

— from A Naked Singularity, by Sergio De La Pava.

Two things I love about this passage:

How a trigger, in this case an auditory one, can take you back, to be a person you once were. Only it feels here, in its intensity and in the context of the big Honeymooners thought experiment that we're following throughout the novel as a backdrop to this, more like actual time travel, that a loop can make it real.

Beethoven and the sky opening up. Cuz I love Beethoven (and in particular the late quartets, which get mentioned later in the book), and I think De La Pava must too to be able to write about it this way, and that's how it feels to me — like the sky is opening up.

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