Yesterday morning I wasn't able to walk very far. But I like to watch the sunrise when I can, so I drove to a layby with a bench and an excellent, high vantage point.
Something I haven't done before - I decided to put music on. Sunn O))) - pronounced 'sun' - very loud on the earbuds. They are drone metal - deep, thick layers of guitar noise, not doing much except making a vast, ambient, monolithic - sonic cathedral. A bone -shaking but strangely ecstatic sound.
It was around -7 degrees and the sky was Rothko. A smooth gradient - oranges through peach, ochre to a grey blue. A sky of deep, thick layers making a vast, ambient, monolithic - sky cathedral.
I sat on the bench in the extreme cold, with the half moon still high in the sky, flask of tea in hand. Waiting. Waiting. The first sun's pinprick punctured the horizon. Everything revolved around this one bright point, flowed out of it, flowed into it.
The sun rose like a glowing bathysphere. Rising up from the sea bed and into an ocean of colour. Under the Rothko sky I was listening to Rothko music. As the sun rose up through the layers, so the colour changed, so the pitch changed.
As if the music were the sound of a huge machine - lifting gear hauling up the sun onto the deck of the new day. It was intense. It was overwhelming.
I got back in the car and driving back kept the ears buds in, still listening to Sunn O))) - to keep the experience going.
I suddenly thought - that bass is amazing It's vibrating me, shaking the car. It was almost deafening. And as I changed gear the pitch changed.
I took the ear buds off and could still hear the sound. In fact it was bone-shaking and uncomfortably loud. I wondered - have I rearranged my molecules so I now hear Sunn O))) even when I'm not listening to Sunn O))). Is this some crazy drone-metal tinnitus? Is it still reverberating through my ears, my head, like a wall-of-sound aftertaste?
Then I realised it was the car, which was making a sound a lot like sunn O))). I was now driving a drone-metal car. I was driving a sonic cathedral in vehicle form.
I got home and found the exhaust and catalytic converter had broken.
The way the music seamlessly melded into the car sound with the natural spectacle in the extreme cold was intense.
Was the experience so intense that it broke the car?!

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