Music for the Gift

The chapel is cool and shaded and calm, a welcome relief from the pedestrian traffic and blaring sunlight just outside the door. This is not the first time I have been here, I keep coming back but there is something more on this occasion. The sound is always louder than I remember it: a deep rumble hits me. I am the first to lie down on the grey, padded benches: they are somewhere between waiting room chic and office décor, their functionality offsetting the pastel grandness of the church (unlike the wooden pews found in ours).

Running water, running water

Lying down I can stare at the ceiling paintings while taking in the sounds and pretend I am the only one in the room (apart from when he turns, the top of his head touches mine). A heavenly scene floats in paint above, cracks running through the sky blues and cloud whites, as if it could crumble apart and fall down at any moment, smothering us. How dramatic that would be – how romantic? – no, how dramatic. A heart (sacred, gruesome) sits in one corner of the painting and an all-seeing eye in another. I notice that others have followed suit to take in ‘Migratory Motor Complex’ in the same way, lying down, but with their eyes closed: isn’t the spectacle of the setting part of it?

All of him of me of him

I can see the water of the canal outside. I mean, I can see the reflection of the water of the canal outside: I am still looking up. It plays on the ceiling in the square format of the window. The pace of the electronic sounds increases just as the ripples of light from the water begin to vibrate at a higher frequency, like heart palpitations. How is the sound mirrored so in the water? It wasn’t the sound, it was a boat speeding past. I hope the others opened their eyes to experience that. The techno soundtrack evolves into choral melodies. I am spoken to but I cannot speak.