Some time in 1990 I was wandering through the Karcher Mall in Nampa Idaho (it might actually be in Caldwell…the line between those two gets a bit confusing) and I happened to walk into the Sam Goody music store when they were playing Windham Hill: The First Ten Years over the sound system.
I don’t remember exactly what I was there to get. Something by Nirvana or Sting or Nine Inch Nails or Damn Yankees or…or something. What I was NOT there to buy was acoustic guitar music.
I listened to the music coming from the speakers with very conflicted emotions. On one hand, at one level, I had an incredibly visceral reaction to it. It touched my emotions directly without going down the usual path of stories and words.
On the other hand, it was really unlike anything else in my music collection. I couldn’t really parse it’s “cool” factor without some kind of frame of reference. I was a teenage boy who lived in a dormitory with all my peers. We basically had two groups, rocker/metal/grunge listeners and country music listeners. The two groups didn’t particularly get along, and teenage boys aren’t very good at social independence…so ultimately I walked out of the store without buying anything.
Thirty minutes later I walked back in, laid down my twenty bucks, and walked out with a two-disk CD collection that has been a staple of my music library for almost two decades.
For the rest of my high school experience (and on into “real life”) I pretty much exemplified eclectic tastes in music, books, and pretty much any other media you can think of or define. While many things contribute to my overall tastes and preferences, that moment in a Sam Goody was a watershed event in my musical development.
So it was no surprise that on Saturday evening, as I was taking pictures of an Oregon coast sunset, my iPod was gently playing the first disk on repeat.
For starters, I was listening to George Winston play “Peace” as I took the following shots.
And then Michael Hedges’ “Aerial Boundaries” came on at almost exactly the right moment.
Based entirely on the theme of the music, I hope you can see why it was so moving as I was taking the following photos:
And then, because album repeat is a beautiful thing, Will Ackerman’s “Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter” began to play as the last strains of light fell on the coast.
If I ever get married again, AND I get to have any say in the whole event, I’d like to have an outdoor wedding at sunset. On a beach. And this is the music I would like to have played as the bride’s processional.
It captured the moment of my last shots so perfectly I couldn’t walk away until the song had ended.