Eighth Blackbird….

Memory – Morning coffee, sunlight warming my back, sprawled on the grass on the verge of M and D’s pond. Many blackbirds rise and subside in the rushes. Flashes of their red shoulders flicker against iridescent black bodies in flight. Repeated morning utterings, a liquid sound in a hot atmosphere. A keen sensation of never before having experienced this; a regret that seeing and hearing this marvel is not a daily joy for me.

This morning – Just have read a NY Times review about the concert given by the ensemble of musicians called Eighth Blackbird. These musicians detune the violin’s g-string to create unearthly moaning bellows, electronically manipulate sounds made by wet fingers run around glass rims and invent unexpectedly novel compositions, both scored and improvised. The theme of the performance is imaginary animals in invented settings.  This surely is a treat for the sound-sated urban dweller, who, at least in imagination is able to reinvent that sensation of strangeness and sublime experience of listening to the communication of other life forms which share this planet with them – an experience that is only possible to one by being in the places inhabited by these beings.

In some sense, this kind of music affords both an avenue for the imagination and a critique of a culture insulated from natural phenomena by its own fabricated overwhelming noisiness.

So, a recording of Eighth Blackbird is a must-have gift for my friend, “The Prissy German Tourist”.  He will appreciate the irony!

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