Turn and face the strange

Published: April 25, 2007

A few people alerted me to the fact that Gary West and Iain MacInnes’s BBC Radio Scotland Pipeline program last Saturday included a few marches from a broadcast I recorded in 2003 when I was still at the solo thing. (A bit jet-lagged rushy here and there, but not too bad.) Margaret Houlihan’s selection is stellar, and, if for nothing else, go listen to it for that alone.

But hearing it again got me thinking about how much has changed for me since August 2003. A few weeks later, I would turn 40, and a few days after that, my mother would be killed in a car crash. There are tons of very good things of course that have happened since then, too, and I’m grateful for them all.

It is interesting to hear something you’ve done that is locked in a very specific place in time. Some say that the ephemeral nature of music is what makes it so beautiful. It’s a fleeting muse, and capturing and holding a musical moment and all of the emotion and feeling locked up in it is impossible. That’s what makes it so alluring to so many.

But a simple recording like that has the ability to transport one to a completely different place. It’s the elusive time-machine.


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