When i was 15 i took part in my school’s annual concert.
it was to be the first school performance in my new found role as official damien rice impersonater. i elected to sing cannonball (duh) by the aforementioned irishman but turning it into a medley with leonard cohen’s hallelujah tagged onto the end.
i say i turned it into a medley, i think the week before i had heard mr rice doing the exact same thing and of course i wanted to play my impersonater role to the fullest. also i say leonard cohen but i had no idea who that was, as far as i cared hallelujah was by jeff buckley and there was something about this buckley fellow.
as far as i can remember that was the first time i ever really experienced ‘the quiet’, which is what i call that noise that happens when people listen.
and i mean really listen.
i’ve called it a silence before, but that’s not quite right. it’s not silence. i swear i can hear it.
i’ve heard someone define prayer as listening to someone listening to you. best definition i’ve ever heard.
listening to listening.
anyway ‘the quiet’ has been pretty important to me ever since.
when the concert finished. i went to find my parents, who were, as they would always be, on the front row. my dad was talking to another dad who turned to me and said he has been a jeff buckley fan all his life and he’d never seen someone match a jeff buckely performance, but that i may well have done so that night.
i took it as i do all face to face compliments, with an awkward smile and a thank you. appreciation in my heart, social ineptidude on my face.
still i asked a few friends about jeff buckley after that night and was quickly lent the jeff buckley live at sin-é record.
if anyone’s interested in the bible for solo performers. look no further than live at sin-e.
like all masterpieces it will floor you and it may well destroy your hopes
but if it doesn’t it’ll definitely build them up.