August 7, 2003

Song 5

I could see the musicians as they played. They were in a room, possibly at different times, wearing headphones. A series of images floated by, extreme close-ups: the drummer’s wrist, a hand moving over keys, a guitar pick held between thumb and forefinger, the taut neck muscles of the man singing. I didn’t want to see these things, preferring to experience the song as one thing, a kind of wave, rather than a collection of sounds made by several people in a room, perhaps at different times, according to some complicated arrangement.

I once saw a film with Caetano Veloso. I had never seen him before, wasn’t expecting to see him, had no idea what he looked like. But when he opened his mouth, out came that voice – a voice, I realized, I had never quite thought of as belonging to a person, nor even being a voice exactly but simply some beautiful thing, like the way maps are beautiful, or manhole covers.