22 June 2008

catching hold of the light

click on the song titles to listen

The first thing you will notice when you listen to This Too Will Pass, an album by Hrishikesh Hirway or The One AM Radio, is the melancholy of his sound. These are midnight songs, best heard in bed in the company of empty space, eyes open staring into darkness. The second thing you will notice is the serenity of his voice. Hirway does not sing as much as softly breathes, but his is the monotony of quietude. If he is perturbed, he has found peace with it. And if neither has yet grabbed your attention, the third thing you will notice is his visual lyricism. Hirway's songs are beautiful pieces of haiku stretched into prose, creating imagery with attendant mood: calm but intense, unadorned but symbolic, concise but redolent of a rich narrative. Consider this, the entire lyrics to Our Fall Apart, about a couple on the brink of a perhaps decisive separation:
We stood within the dappled shade of the small backyard where we had our start. You kept your eyes on your cupped hands, held as though you might catch hold of the light. Behind the curtain of your hair, you began to say, half-turned away, "How strange to find this place unchanged to our hardened hearts, and our fall apart."
And then there's Cast Away, which is a haunting song about a man struggling to accept the prosaic reality of normal life after a long surrender to depression.
The first thing you saw when you washed up onto the shore were the words "I don't love you anymore" scrawled into the sand. And as the sun and the din from the street beat you sore, you had a sudden ache for the ocean floor. Every night you dream of the same underwater scene, where you nearly made your peace, but then the silence suddenly ceased. And placed by an unseen hand, you were brought back to the tumult of land. The sound of the hull against the waves is not around to lull you to sleep nowadays. You just lie awake, listening to the gulls in the bay. Breathe in salt air as you stare at the ceiling, trying to recapture the feeling of being married to the sea, but your vision gets so watery. Every night you dream of the same underwater scene, but safe beneath your sheets, you'll never find your way back to that peace.
It makes you think: Is it possible for someone to be so depressed, he wants to stay depressed?

1 comment:

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    adios :)