Saturday, October 25, 2008

Epiphanies

I've just been reading Jeffrey Overstreet's Through a Glass Darkly in which he talks about the way in which even the least likely movies can cause an epiphany in someone's life. It reminded me of a paragraph from the book, A Romance on Three Legs, which I talked about in an earlier post.

For some people, [Glenn] Gould's playing enabled them to hear new things. Others, including those who had no special affinity for classical music, reported feeling an intuitive connection to the music when they first heard Gould playing. Bruno Monsaingeon, a French filmmaker and violinist, was in a record store in Moscow in the late 1960s when he chance upon a couple of recordings by Gould, whose playing was unfamiliar to him. When the filmmaker listened to the records, he likened the experience to a religious epiphany, as if a voice were saying, 'Follow me.' Monsaingeon would devote the next two decades of his life to making films about Gould.
A heart surgeon in London encouraged every patient to listen to Gould's recordings of Bach before he operated. A UPS driver in Roanoke, Virginia, told a Gould scholar about the moment when a few phrases of the Goldberg Variations came over the truck's radio station and she instinctively began to reach for the dial to change to a different station. But she was turning a corner and needed both hands on the wheel, so the music continued. And continued - transforming her into a life-long devotee of Gould's work.

Elsewhere in the book it talks about a man hearing the music on his car radio, insisting on his wife pulling over and listening to the whole 45 minutes or so, before he would allow her to drive on.

The quote above is from the Prologue to the book, and the photo is of Bruno Monsaingeon.
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