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10 January, 2008

Tremulous and Tender

When I was in college, one of my friends had a thing for tormented, mysterious dramatic fellows with cloaks and masks. Epic Phantom of the Opera fanfic sort of 'thing'.

I never loved the Phantom.

But I had a massive thing for the music of the night.

I can't remember when I first heard the musical; I have memories of listening to it going back and forth to the shrink in junior high school, but that's the closest I have to something that dated it. Call me twelve, that's probably close enough.

It caught me, caught my attention. The rest of the plotline of ALW's Phantom fell completely by the wayside in its incoherent jumble of spectacle; I was captivated by the music of the night, this first portrait of compelling, beautiful dominance. It spoke of "cold, unfeeling light", which was one of those deep secret associations in my child mind that I would not speak of, because I was supposed to find the light warm and welcoming, and I never had; that touch of familiarity made the siren song of the Phantom's music grasping for control, for compulsion, for beauty that much the more real and personal to me.

Perhaps like Christine in the storyline, I was too caught in the music to be aware of the savagery that fed the Phantom, but it was the music I always wanted more than the man, the music that was the perfect master. The music that needed that one point of perfect inspiration, the idealised Christine, the one who was willing and able to open to the music, fill herself up, and pour it out again. The music was always my master, I its dedicated worshipper, filled with it, shaped to it, spilling it out again with my own voice.

The music of the night, in concept -- not in the form given in the musical, but as its own angel -- was my first Master. The one that trained me most in service, in being owned, in being the cherished slave of power, alive as never before with a resonance that shook my ribs and drove my breath deeper, richer, more powerful.


There is a story here about why I no longer partner with musicians which I will leave implicit.

3 comments:

Trinity said...

"It spoke of "cold, unfeeling light", which was one of those deep secret associations in my child mind that I would not speak of, because I was supposed to find the light warm and welcoming, and I never had"

yeahthat.

subversive_sub said...

...me, too. Though my associations were more "harsh and sharp" than unfeeling.

barb michelen said...
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