You know those pointless-speculating-until-it-happens-or-coz-it-has-no-real-answer sort of questions you ask each other like: Cats or dogs? Bourbon or whisky? How would you spend the last day of earth? What will your dying words be? Well, when it comes to the one about what sense you’d give up first, I think mine’s sight.
It couldn’t be touch, because with the way I sear and slice myself in the kitchen, you’d be calling me Stumpy and mopping the blood from the floor in no time. And I reckon the Michael Hutchence Factor is absolute proof of the integral connection of smell/taste, and what happens when that bond is lost. No, I reckon the last sense I’d give up would be my hearing. A world without music? Unthinkable. Impossible. Inconceivable.
If I’m upright, there’s music playing somewhere… even when I’m horizontal there’s a good chance there’s a soundtrack. I don’t actually know much about music. In fact, I’m an ignoramus about classical stuff —last year when we went to see L'incoronazione di Poppea at Palais Garnier, I kept getting the giggles. So you see, I don’t know much about music, but I do know that it’s my lifeline.
I wish that I had the wisdom to fully understand the unspeakably complex and glittering concept of Songlines connecting all life and space. But mostly I’m just a pleb with a penchant for any tune that makes me feel alive.
The first concert No.1 Son attended was Midnight Oil. It was 1991. He was eight. The first live gig Girlchild and Boychild experienced was a memorable outdoor event at a winery — Josh Pyke, Paul Kelly, The Church, The Pretenders — we attended with some very dear friends and their kids. It was 2007. The kids were 7 and 9.
Aside from being essential to their education, these occasions were also perfect opportunities for me to practise one of the most sacred of all mothering duties: embarrassing the children in public. No.1 Son was gobsmacked to learn that grown-up music-lovers stood on chairs and shouted really loud. Girl and Boychild will forever have this imprinted in their impressionable brains:
Time has passed, and while the kids have matured, I have not. Just a few nights ago, we had a family excursion to 2Cellos at The Palais. Row C. Awesome. As they hit the stage and I began to whoop immodestly, Miss 14 — fashionista and cellist in training who was seated at my left— attempted to give me the deathstare. Pffft… As if…
In my best maternal hissing whisper I reminded her to get her head out of her butt. And before long, I was sneaking such impressive recordings as this (imagine you are listening to You Shook Me All Night Long):
8 seconds in: My shirt
11 seconds : No.1 Son on my right
19 seconds: My hair
23 seconds: Possibly me
24 seconds: Random guy in Row B.
It was bliss.
Nope, I’d rather see darkness than not hear such exquisitely coloured music as this:
And I’d rather poke my eyes out than miss giving myself whiplash to sounds like these:
But the pointless-speculating-until-it-happens-or-coz-it-has-no-real-answer sort of question that stumps me every time is: What’s your theme song?