The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

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MAY 2022 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: Music

5. Weybridge, England 1968

On a weekend when his wife is away, a musician invites an artist he has just met to his house. Retiring to the home studio he has built in his attic, the two of them, who as yet barely know each other, spend the night experimenting with tape loops and wordless vocalizations, creating a dense recording of muffled piano and guitar punctuated with warbles, screeches, moans and assorted noises. At dawn they make love. When the man’s wife returns, she finds her husband and his new collaborator sitting on the floor of her living room staring into each other’s eyes; the marriage is over. The recordings from that night are later released on an LP featuring photographs, front and back, of the couple fully nude. It’s hard to know which is more shocking to the public: the naked bodies of the new lovers or their strange recordings, so different from the songs that have made the man and his band world famous. Although the rest of the band is unenthusiastic about this radical departure, one of them contributes a brief liner note to the LP: “When two great Saints meet, it is a humbling experience. The long battles to prove he was a Saint.”

(John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Cynthia Lennon, Paul McCartney)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2022

All Issues