17 September 2008

I know you've deceived me, now here's a surprise...I know that you have 'cause there's magic in my eyes...


I need a favour from one of youse. I'm trying to track down a copy of a CD from 1998, a tribute album by a bunch of Aussie artists called "To Hal and Bacharach". It's almost impossible to find these days, specially over here, but if any of you can track down a new or second hand copy I'd be muchas grateful. Help a brother out...


I've got a new job! Woop, woop (dat's da sound of da Police). It's at a specialist usability firm, smallish but with good growth throughout their short lifespan, and a really good vibe. I'd seen some of their work previously and was heaps impressed and they completely won me over with their friendliness, honesty and genuine give-a-crap-about-people-ness. I went for a couple of interviews and my affection for and confidence in them just grew and grew. They offered me the job and I took a couple of days to think about it but my mind was pretty much already made up. But then the CEO rang me to tell me how taken with me they were and how great everyone thought I was and they were really excited by the idea of me maybe coming to work for them, and that just sealed the deal. It really put things into perspective and provided the perfect contrast between a company which genuinely cares about its people and its work and its clients, and a company which measures your worth in terms of how much money they can wring out of you before you cark it. How many CEOs take the time to call you personally and kiss your arse? I feel happy and hopeful and excited about the move, which is a good sign particularly in this atmosphere of Credit Crunch doom and gloom, where 5,000 people can lose their jobs in a single morning. I feel good about the decision I've made for better or worse, and feel this could be the change I needed. My last day with the Company is 10 October and I have a week off before I start the new gig. I might even manage to squeeze in a lightning visit to Oz in between. Stay posted.

Then again, the change in mood (thanks, Kids in the Kitchen!) could be attributed to another unexpected source...

Salette and I spent the most wonderful weekend together...literally the entire weekend. We met for brekkie on Saturday and didn't part company until I went home at midnight Sunday. Normally I start to get a bit antsy if I spend 7 or 8 hours with other people and need some quiet time in my isolation tank. But when I'm with her, time ceases to have any meaning and suddenly two days have passed and I feel like it's gone way too fast.

After breakfast she took me to an incredible audio performance piece at the Royal Opera House. It was set up downstairs in a darkened performance hall. It consisted of dozens of tripods of varying heights upon which were mounted aluminium bars with speakers lashed to the ends connected to a simple circuit board. The speakers were of many different sizes and had a red LED mounted on the top. The artists were two guys in dark wool suits who entered the space and activated one of the towers so that it emitted a single continuous electronic tone. They adjusted the tone with a small screwdriver until it reached a certain pitch, which, while harmonious, became quite discordant and unpleasant after a while. They then went about activating all of the other towers one by one, adjusting the pitch of each to correspond to the height of the tripod: shorter ones had deep pitch, average ones mid-range, and tall ones high pitch. As more and more tones were activated, the sound slowly started to build into a complex cacophony, not quite noise but not quite music, and something quite remarkable happened: even though they were all effectively emitting the same continuous tone, the combination of different pitches and your physical location to the towers meant that the sound seemed to be changing, lilting upward and downward through the register, oscillating and flowing, like it was comprised of many different voices all singing the same song but frozen in a moment of time.

The towers were hooked up to a control boxes in groups of three and, once all were activated, the boxes were turned on which made the arms rotate at different speeds which took the experience to a whole new level. The middle of the floor was roped off so you could get close to the piece and move around it which meant it sounded completely different depending on where you were standing. It's hard to describe what it was like - I thought it was like an alien mating call, Salette thought it was the muzak they play in Heaven's waiting room - but there was a real physical presence to the sound. It had depth and shape and texture and you had the sensation of being enveloped by it as the lower tones set off a pleasing fremitus in your chest and the higher tones danced about your ears. Then suddenly the lights went out and we were submerged in an ocean of darkness and sound and all you could see were dozens of red LEDs spinning and dancing among this incredible sound...like twin souls chasing each other through an infinity of frozen music.

After 40 minutes or so they started shutting down, first the rotation, and then the sound, one tower at a time. To my surprise, I felt a tinge of sadness as each one went silent; it was as if having created something beautiful, they were now destroying it...like killing a panda. As they inexorably made their way through each tower there remained only one, the first one, and I found myself dreading the return to silence. In my head I was begging them to leave it on just a little longer. But finally it too went silent and we stood for a few minutes in this dim dark space which, although full of people and equipment, suddenly felt stark and empty. It was truly an amazing experience and my description can't do it justice, but it is something I will never forget.

That night we went bowling at All Star Lanes, just to bring some white trash balance to the day's high-brow arty-farty activities. I won by 3 points (129 to 126) but as Salette used to be in a bowling league many years ago I can't help feeling a certain amount of graciousness was in play. On Sunday the weather was absolutely gorgeous and sunny and Salette chose to forgo her ticket to a 9-hour long Robert LaPage play (which she'd been dying to see for ages) to spend the day with me. Aaawww! We had brunch at Smiths of Smithfield and made fun of the French waiter cos he didn't know shit about waffles even though he pretended to (as if the French know ANYTHING about cooking...oy!) Then we headed over to Hampstead Heath to walk off the delicious brunchy goodness. The weather was suspiciously good for Autumn, and it was so lovely to just wander about and get lost amongst the hills and the trees and the ponds, talking and holding hands and making out and goofing off. Suffice it to say, I'm falling for this girl in a big way. I never thought I could feel this way about anyone ever again...partly because I didn't think I'd ever find anyone so amazing, partly because I never believed someone so amazing would be interested in me, but mainly because I thought I was incapable of feeling anything any more. I'm like a teenager with a crush...it's cheesy and pathetic and brilliant! Each time we're together she just gets more and more amazing, and I'm so caught up in how good she makes me feel that I forget to wait for the other shoe to drop. When I'm with her, time and the world simply disappear and there's just her and how she makes me feel and the way she looks at me that makes my stomach go all funny.

I'm in trouble, here...

2 comments:

virago princess said...

Try not to stuff it up...monkey brains

Chris... said...

If I hide in a cupboard for the next 17 years and don't make any sound, I think I might just manage it...