“Music to Die For” is a not-uncommon expression but
it makes me nervous since I'm among
the people most likely to be a music fatality.
This would happen when I'm driving and something comes on the radio
that I haven't heard before that's so beautiful that it sucks up all my
What's really sad is that I could easily take some innocents along
with me, and they might hate music, which would be terribly unjust.
It happened again this morning, but I survived and can tell you about an
outstanding recording you've probably never heard of.
I can remember this happening a few times:
- Coming way too fast down the M11 from Cambridge in a rented purple
Opel, Arvo Pärt's Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten came
on the BBC and I caught myself closing my eyes at 85mph to savor the fading
tones of the church bell.
- Somewhere on 101 south of San Jose they played David Lindley's version of
Do You Want To Dance? off the album Very Very
Greasy and I just about hit the median while conducting the guitar
solo; don't laugh, it's easily one of the top five guitar breaks of all
- Then there was the time driving down the 427 west of Toronto - a monster
of a highway - the first time I heard Nirvana's Smells Like Teen
Spirit, and stomped vigorously in sync with that huge guitar
HONK in the middle of the instrumental break the second time it came
around, unfortunately on the
brake pedal, fortunately there was nobody behind me.
Then today I was driving to work and the CBC played a piece called
You Are a Profound Mystery, voiceless Armenian-Orthodox liturgy
sung by Isabel Bayrakdarian on a record called
Light, and realized almost too late that while Ms. Bayrakdarian's voice
like a legion of aetherial angels, I actually had to steer to get over the
Cambie Street Bridge alive.
It's a treasure.
By Tim Bray
I am an employee
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