sigur ros

we went to hear sigur ros on friday night. paul came along too, even though he didn’t know sigur ros… we gave him Takk and told him to learn all the words before the concert…

it was – predictably – sublime. the first few songs were quite ordinary. the crowd were still coming in, people were talking. festival hall has to be the worst venue in melbourne. i can’t remember what the first song was, but it was long, with lots of silences. i don’t think they’d got the sound levels quite right. it was a noisy friday night crowd, so the silences were filled with chatter, and people moving to get another drink… it was kind of like the orchestra warm up before the main concert… i wondered if it was just going to be a very long night… but then, about third song in, they played Samskeyti, and the world turned rightside up.

from then on it was whimsical and ethereal. i had the feeling that even they felt that the music came from somewhere beyond them, that it was this thing they had to hold lightly to. they never took it too seriously, but it was kind of amazingly reverent at the same time. hard to put that into words without sounding twee…

with sigur ros, it’s all about timing – the magic is in that fraction of a second before the next note comes, that moment of wonder; when you know the next note is going to be exquisitely beautiful, perfect, and they leave you waiting for it… and when it comes, even though you knew it would be coming, it takes your breath away with its rightness.

by the end of the night, the silences were absolutely silent. it was sheer beauty…

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