dissabte, 25 d’abril de 2009

Byrne (sobre art i realitat, la sidra, el mal d'esquena, i Peret)


Last night's show in Gijon went perfectly — a beautiful slow beginning and a gradual ramping up to full speed. It was a semi-baroque old theater in the center of town, not far form the port.

In the morning I went for my second recent run since the lower back problems that plagued me the first few days of the tour have eased up. Yesterday in Pau and today in Gijon, I've been running down around the peninsula that juts out from the port and downtown beaches.

I head back there later for lunch in a little bar with sawdust, sea urchin shells, and cigarette butts littering the floor. I order sidra, the local dry cider, which is poured from a great height in small portions to aerate every few mouthfuls. I have it with chipirones, the little squids, and a chunk of deeply blue cheese, which I notice my bar neighbors eating.

The walls are decorated with pictures of football stars, the local craggy mountain range, a voluptuous lady in a blue dress holding a ball, a framed "biography of a sardine" and panoramic shots of the harbour. The clients smoke furiously and range from a family at one long table to an old geezer alone at another.

A young couple from Madrid enters and recognizes me, and asks for a photo. No one is watching the car racing on TV.

That night we add "Si Fulano" to the set, the song I did with Peret, the flamenco rock singer from Barcelona. He had hits in the 70s and was considered the Elvis of Spain, mainly due to the bad movies he did. The audience recognizes it as soon as the verse starts, and they cheer, so I guess it was a good decision to learn it.

I'm reading an advance copy of Lawrence Weschler's book of essays, Vermeer in Bosnia. The title essay is a meditation on Vermeer's beautiful pictures and the violent turbulent age they came out of. The museum is in the Hague, where the war crime tribunals are held, hence the connection. It is proposed that what his images were doing was "inventing peace." They proposed the possibility of a better, more beautiful world; by putting the visible possibility of such an alternative world right in front of us, we might imagine it, conceive it, and consider it a possibility.

I wonder if that's what we all do with music as well. Music, some of it, proposes a world that functions differently than the one we've been experiencing; it proposes possibilities, plants the seed of something that could exist but was not previously in the imagination's vocabulary.

29 March 2004 in Tour/Show Reports | Permalink