Parentheses Before Sleeping

I was lying in bed the other night waiting to fall asleep, and the Sigur Ros () album was playing softly as it often does at these times. The first three songs of the album always seem to me to convey a sense of deep, unutterable yearning (I can see the movie soundtrack producers lining up already). A gentle tension starts to build when track 3 introduces that repeating (but not repetitive) sequence of notes on the piano; they ascend and descend over and over again, and even though the notes are always the same you get the feel of wafting slowly upwards, maybe following a loosely spiralling path, and when the piano finally comes in several octaves higher with the same sequence of notes I find myself imagining fireworks underwater, clarity found, and quiet contentment.

[Posterity music-geekness note: Strange. I was writing this, and also remembering how, at the time, my anticipation of that pivotal moment was affecting my ability to enjoy the music as it happened. This also happens with Orbital’s In Sides album, when I’m waiting for The Box Part 1 to segue into The Box Part 2.]