I don’t know a better word than “lust” to describe the pull of experiencing great music from the audience. There’s such an ache to be on the other side of the sound, to have honed and crafted, to be the one climbing inside the notes and riding them out, cresting over and with the phrases—coming to a finish, alone, before snapping back into the room around you. I don’t know anything more mindful.
I’m getting better at it – at listening. At being in the audience. The hole in me is deep; I can’t fill it with a few stage-side concerts alone, so I go and I watch and I listen. It’s a different beast. You’re not in the music so much as following its hem. Try to linger, to turn it around and absorb its itness, and you’re already missing out. It’s already, always, a moment ahead of you.
It’s an exercise in acceptance, I think. Want the music hard enough, fight against its fleetingness, and it’ll burn you up like an adolescent.
But let that desire rip through you and set you back down, and you can start to ride it like the performer rides the sound itself. Still, it will always suspend you in the tension of a beautiful thing:
You cannot keep it.