The below excerpt was taken from McEwan’s Saturday which I wrote about earlier this week in more detail. His passage that articulates the power of those rare moments in music where you are taken to another dimension, hoping never to be waken, was so powerful that I have to repeat it here. It has been on my mind all week.
“He walks into the middle of the dark auditorium, towards the great engine of sound. He lets it engulf him. There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they’ve ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative and technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself.
Out in the real world, there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever — mirages for the workers’ paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it’s tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes.”