Fun_People Archive
5 May
QOTD - Duncan, 5/5/00

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  5 May 100 20:40:38 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: QOTD - Duncan, 5/5/00

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Forwarded-by: Gregg Porter <>

"There is something uncanny about live music, about watching living,
 breathing musicians as their music is being born.  For all its technical
 perfection, a recording is just what it says it is: an accurate but lifeless
 replica of a living event.  It leaves out the flickering hands, bending
 bodies, skilled, exerted breathing; the sharp, almost desparate inhalations
 by the horn players; the screek of the pick against the wound strings of
 the guitar; the nods, fleet smiles, deft understandings flickering back
 and forth between performers.  These visual nuances are satisfying in
 themselves, but also guide a live listener toward the intent of every
 silence and sound.  And there is a cumulative effect to the best live music.
 One piece sheds light on another, like stories in a strong collection, till
 your ears begin to master a lexicon.  And when song after song reaches
 climax after climax, energy is not only generated, it's congealed,
 distilled, intensified, like sunlight passing through a magnifying glass.
 The sounds burn clear through the mind and hit you somewhere deeper.  That,
 at least, is the alchemy concert-goers hope for.  What can't be described,
 of course, is what a band does to put a listener in this state.  We call
 it music but so what?  Music is just a word for something we love largely
 because it consists of things that words can't express.  Likewise, the
 heart is just a word for something in us that music sometimes touches.
 But once these two somethings, heart and music, do touch, there is only
 one of them."

	-David James Duncan, "My One Conversation With Collin Walcott"
	 (from the collection RIVER TEETH)

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