Wednesday, November 18, 2015


A pilgrimage in holy land


Of course we all know The Who. Of course we all know Quadrophenia. Of course we have all entered the Albert Hall, be it only for the Promenade Concerts. But here we have something else, something we cannot expect because it is new, will I say. The rock opera created a lot of many years ago has been arranged, and even more than arranged, reconstructed for the full Royal philharmonic orchestra. I must say I do not know many cases of a consecrated classical orchestra recording a rock opera. Pierre Boulez had a go at it quite a few decades ago. But here we are seeing the revival of a rock classic with the original artists, at least some of them, in such a new production that it sounds transmuted. And transmuted it is.

The music is no longer an accompaniment. It is a forest of sounds, rhythms and tempos that have their own logic in a Music Hall that is so prestigious we seem to have flown, fled or taken refuge onto another planet, as if the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Head of the Church of England, Elizabeth herself, were coming to a smallest village imaginable for the christening of the new born child of the local street sweeper or constabkle. It makes us humble, humble the way we have probably never felt.

In that forest, rainforest actually, jungle of music we then have the singers, the songs, the lyrics, the harmony, the fight to render trans-human and supernatural what is so well known we don’t have to listen to the words, they come naturally in our minds, and yet we do not really have what we experienced some forty of fifty years ago, I don’t want to remember, because they, the lyrics and the artists, have aged for one and because they have also followed the world. The Mod and the Rockers are long gone and today we have all other sorts of antagonisms and dualities, and even more variety still with triple and quadruple conflicts, rivalries and tragedies. We are no longer dealing with the Montagues and the Capulets. We are dealing with what is in each one of us, in all of us, the desire to kill, the desire to live, the desire to love, the desire to create, the four of them wrapped up in only one impulse, the impulse to communicate, to speak, to sing, to tell other people how happy we can be when we just get from them what we are expecting them to give us. We want to be loved to justify our love and to give that love without counting. And yet, nothing is that simple, as the bus driver would tell us.

So we try not to forget they are telling us about the world that is so torn apart that there are more cracks in the building than any building could actually bear before collapsing, ,and yet our will to survive, to outlive death makes the building stand and resist collapse. Our society should have been engulfed in all the violence it produces, and yet vital forces are so strongly stampeding down the empty street that we are still standing, breathing, living, loving, my friends, loving so hard and hugging so much that the whole world seems to be a youth liquor in our cups in spite of the bad smell of rotting flesh. Queer you will say, in the old meaning of the word, which was not that gay since it could mean some severe corporal punishment not so long ago.

But things have changed, haven’t they. We don’t have to yield to older brothers. We don’t have to surrender to bullies. We have the power of vanquishing our shyness and swallow our modesty and stand up and say: “What then if I am!” and that is not a question. And we find out we can be many taking that stance which is not in our heads but in our muscles, our blood, our guts. In our souls, minds, spirits and brains.

So enjoy this simple village christening turned into a salvaging ritual to redeem the world before Doomsday and we may think Doomsday is not far away when we see the apocalyptic killings some human situations can create.

Just believe in the future and it might become what you believe in. That’s what I would tell a friend of mine, a dear friend, even the dearest friend I can imagine. Why? Why should you care whet people may say if you have the courage to do what you want to do and be what you wish to become?


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