Monday, April 20, 2009

In C

Yesterday I found myself feeling a lot overwhelmed by everything I've thrown into my To Do bucket. So naturally I pulled out some skeins of yarn to whap over the back of a chair and wind into balls.

Before I started - stopping in the middle of winding yarn has sometimes led me to a knotty tangle of Godzilla-like proportions - I flipped on the radio. Sunday afternoons are usually opera, and while I despised opera for many years I like it now. What was playing was not, however, opera. It was In C. Translation: I was trapped in a room filled with the very clear sound of many different musicians playing the same very very few notes over and over again in the same sequence, the actual notes shifting to a new set occasionally to be repeated for just short of infinity. And it lasted for nearly an hour, because I tuned in late.

Though I love Philip Glass, I could feel my nerve endings pop listening to this. I kicked myself when I realized I had finished one skein and set up for the next without taking the time to turn it off, until I noticed I'd relaxed a little, whether because of the repetitive yarn-winding or the repetitive sounds I couldn't say. By the time the sounds had wound down to one single piano key pressed briskly and insistently until suddenly it stopped I was feeling a lot better. If I hadn't had yarn in my hands I would have applauded along with the audience: I was glad it was over, but I was also glad I'd heard it.


Kathleen Taylor said...

yikes! I don't think I'd have been able to listen to it all. You're a brave woman. (I like my music to be a bit more... musical...)

st. jude said...

In C is an old favourite with local music nerds. And a favourite piece of mine.

I have one friend who organized musicians from jazz, avant pop, indie rock, and classical communities to get together and play In C at a bar every Wednesday. I never made it out, but I always wanted to get a bunch of singers to go. I'd love to do it on a weekly basis... especially since it'd turn out different every time.

I think the composer is Terry Riley though.

Mary Keenan said...

I think I would like to hear it again when not stressed... perhaps when sitting in a comfy chair knitting and thinking about a storyline just to see where the music takes me.