The Magic Hour

There's a reason the GRB site lists shows under the heading 'The Magic Hour.'

Madeleine L'Engle wrote a bunch of fiction that I've never read. But her book, "Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art," says the following:

~ "All artists know days when time collaborates with them and they can do more than they can do in one day. There are other days when they are equally diligent, and yet get little or nothing accomplished.
~ Perhaps one of the saddest things we can do is waste time, as Shakespeare knew when he had Richard the Second cry out, 'I have wasted time, and now doth time waste me.'
~ But being time is never wasted time. When we are being, not only are we collaborating with chronological time, but we are touching on kairos and are freed from the normal restrictions of time. In moments of mystical illumination we may experience, in a few chronological seconds, years of transfigured love."

It makes me wonder. When I was my angsty, troubled sixteen year-old self, my crappy band at the time played a show at a long dead dive in Richmond, VA. The first girl I ever kissed came to watch, and when it was over she said something that, at the time, I didn't realize was profound. She said, "I've never seen you look so happy as when you're playing."

If I could spend every hour of my life playing, I would. And this is the great crime of my existence: that I spend - or waste? - so much time laboring to earn the too few magic hours in which time expands-stops-disappears. Maybe that's the burden of humankind: you gotta work to eat. And I engage in epic labors to create more space to play - with little measureable result.

But when the magic hour comes... I forget all of that.

The Gena Rowlands Band will release 'The Nitrate Hymnal - A Dying Dream' this winter on Lujo Records. It will join 'La Merde et Les Etoiles,' available now, as a portrait of a magic hour from once upon a time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am somewhere between Liebenschadenkunstlerfrendenkatzenschwimmt and The Magic Hour.

It's when you have the music at your fingertips, as if you're E.T. low on batteries... I just need that one word to break the barrier. Like a puzzle of a person's face with one piece missing -- their eye. Without that piece, it's just a puzzle; with that piece, it's a face, a feeling. It has impact.

What's worse is that I'm not even working on lyrics; it's pure music. There's a unifying concept that I can't place, so I'm trying to put a word on it to weigh (or at least slow) it down long enough for me to trace its path.

Dots and lines, dots and lines. My safety net and my cell.

My favorite time is when you've just finished it, and you know it's good. It's never like that again. When you hear it, you think about how it's received or how it could've been better or how maybe you do want to add that one part back in... When you play or record it -- sometimes even when you write it down -- it's just an attempt to capture, to re-enact that moment of completion.

I want that McCartney experience -- to simply wake up with the complete song in my head. I want Yesterday, and right now I have an as-yet-untitled and elusive puzzle... and Liebenschadenkunstlerfrendenkatzenschwimmt.

12:51 AM  

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