“…You are the music while the music lasts” – T.S. Eliot
The clatter and tentative smash that was a staple of my youth is a sound I never hear anymore, of the jewel cases that collided into each other – woefully scratched and broken – with all of their tongs falling out. In the swift rustle for more music, another familiar tune to assuage the throes of teenage angst, it was always a rush from one CD to another to again capture the feeling, the hole that pierced right through that could only be caught by the edge of a song.
The other day, thumbing through a CD collection I used to visit daily, I was taken in by a past that had slipped by without any ceremony. Instantly, I recognized the jewels cases that I had forgotten of bands I used to love – Tori Amos, Sonic Youth, This Mortal Coil – and the times that were linked to them. It was easy to instantly remember the days that I had bought them, from which stores, and whether or not I was in a different city, or country even. Back in those days, there was humility in having to choose a CD and pluck it purposefully from its case to listen. For the next 30 or 40 minutes, there would be a commitment of sorts, something that couldn’t be broken and would not be cast aside before the last notes had played out and faded down.