I am playing at a wedding today, so this post's credit goes to a friend in Australia. Martin wrote a wonderful note to me after reading about the Elizabeth Gilbert presentation on my blog, August 18th. So, while I'm playing Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, How Great Thou Art, and Beethoven's Joyful Joyful, please enjoy an indescribable moment of the Beatles, courtesy of Martin.
Martin wrote: I finally got time to watch the whole clip you posted - it is awesome! Personally, I love the part about performances that "transcend" starting at 15:35. I'm lucky enough to have seen lots of these moments during performances. Occasionally, I've also been part of such performances. The worst thing you can do is notice that it has happened and try to apply logic to it to try and keep it going, because then it is over!
I think that when a performance transcends you usually have to be in the audience to appreciate it. However, here's an example (http://www.sbs.com.au/rockwiz/past/90/Eddi-Reader-Liam-O-Maonlai) where you can see it happen in a fairly low quality video of a performance. During the 3rd chorus, around the time when Eddi Reader improvs, something just happens, fantastic!
Chris here again: To me, moments like this share a glimpse, a foretaste of the day when all the world vibrates in harmony again. Our voices, our innermost beings resonate with each other ever so briefly. Sharing the same air, that same stopped bit of time eternal, we can do nothing but love each other, because we realize we are all one, all part of the whole.
For some background information on the artists:
Eddi Reader started performing as a busker in Glasgow when she was ten. She sang backing vocals for UK punk legends, The Gang of Four, which led to session work with the Eurythmics and Alison Moyet. In the late 80s she formed Fairground Attraction and their first single, Perfect, was a number one hit in the UK. Eddi released a tribute album to her lyrical hero Robert Burns in 2003 and her eighth solo album, Peacetime, in 2006.
Liam O’Maonlai started out as a teenage busker with a school friend, Fiachna Ó Braonáin. The pair were joined by Peter O’Toole and they formed the band Hothouse Flowers in 1985. Rolling Stone declared them "the best unsigned band in Europe," and within a year Hothouse Flowers were supporting U2. Their first album, People, was the most successful debut album in Irish music history and it delivered a string of hit singles.