[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com


AOD
Artist: 65daysofstatic
Album: One for All Time [Japanese Release]
Year: 2005
Theme: Buildup
: When I was in high school, I used to fall asleep with music on every night, all night. My parents hated it: "You can't get a good sleep if you're listening to music; it will infect your dreams/your head/your genetic biology," I don't even remember; I didn't care because I listened to music 24 hours a day, literally -- it was my heartbeat. The thought of sleeping without it was essentially inconceivable (though I'll concede that they were right about the weird dreams).

I can't pinpoint when that changed, but probably around the time I started downloading music instead of listening to it on CDs. My headphones were always unwieldy and really awkward to sleep in, so gradually I grew out of the habit. Still -- every now and then, I will have a desperate urge to put on my huge Sennheisers at 2am and hit "shuffle" on my iPod. This urge got really strong around spring 2009, when I was trying anything -- anything -- to pull myself out of my emotionless funk. This, you may or may not remember, is the same time I was watching season one of Being Erica on my iPod at 4am -- all part and parcel of the same chant in my head: I can't keep living like this, I can't be this person, I can't understand where the person I used to be went. Anything to distract? Maybe.


I had my headphones on one especially bad night in March. I can't tell you, though I'm sure you understand, how horrible it is to listen to music without feeling even a twinge of emotion. I fell asleep with the Sennheisers on, trying to feel something, anything: nothing.

In the middle of the night, I woke up -- or perhaps the music woke me up -- at one of the most gutwrenching moments in my entire music library: 
1 minute and 24 seconds into AOD.

My heart fucking leapt out of my chest, in that way it only does when you are experiencing something sublime while half-asleep -- I sat straight up, choking back sobs I'd been ignoring for days; this song pulled them out of me. I had never heard anything like it. I had never felt anything like it; I haven't since. It was something indescribable, maybe even primal: it was the hope that I wasn't broken, that maybe there was something else, that I would get there. Eventually.

The emotional catharsis of that experience is mirrored in the structure of this fucking beautiful instrumental. It starts slow, with 65dos' trademark mathrock beats dinging around, a little distortion, nothing exceptional, quietly building to that xylophone, which in turn quietly builds to some synths, then some cymbals, and then that shift at 1:24 into a completely different universe, still retaining the structures from the first bit, but pushing outwards, upwards, reaching towards some kind of sky -- but I find that every time I listen to this song, that sky is a different colour. When shit starts going down at 3:33, it's like bombs are dropping but it still feels consonant, it still feels alive. This song, I think, is a throbbing representation of a life, starting off slow and pushing through all the bullshit and chaos, but holding that throughthread of consonant melody, somehow, and ultimately winding up safe, sane, quiet, but unable to forget everything you've experienced. A minute left. Still breathing. Still seething. Still alive.

You take that knowledge and you run with it. It doesn't fix you right away; nothing ever does. I was no less broken the next morning, despite that out-of-body musical experience, BUT:
sometimes the memory of a catalyst is just enough to keep you going.

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