Tuesday 18 February 2014

Anachronic music

A propos of nothing, I recently came to reflect that the last time Jacques Brel performed live was 47 years ago. And, since that was way too early for people like me to be there, for those who have to go by live recordings, the last one was in 1964. Fully 50 years ago.

Yet I cannot play the famous Olympia 64 without being immediately taken by a shiver -though I have played it many, many times. I immediately feel the presence. Where last year's pop star hit can already feel embarassingly outdated, this feeling seems to have eternity thrust upon it.

Music being the art that probably most directly touches us without bothering to go through the intellect, could the fact that much of the music I listen to dates back quite a bit be not only consequence, but even cause, of my frequent impressions of not being in synch with the times? Not that I don't listen to any contemporary artist (and, OK, Bob Dylan is still very active, but going on 73), although those I tend to enjoy would typically not be the main household names. But, typically, as I type, a 1963 Dylan recording of Moonshiner is playing. And it can still bring tears to my eyes after many hundred times.

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