By Joe Jackson
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Extra resources for A Cure for Gravity: A Musical Pilgrimage
Music dasses being at the same time as sports ww a big problem. for him, This rnade no sense to me, although it's clear enough now. Athletes and musicians actually have a lot in common. From a coldly rational point of view, v~hatwe do is useless, umecessav Yet we pour years of dedication into it, training our bodies and minds, striving to transcend human Edtationa. W work in teams, we take solos, we p on tour. y torn k w e e n the mo, and I w a s aghast. Nowadays. I'm a baseball fan, but sports, at that time, were something for me to define myseff asinst.
But as far as I could tell it was a social and culmral desert, inhabited only by sdors and old women. I didn't want to move, I was used to Paulsgrsve, I was getting beaten up less, and my asthma attacks were still bad, but less frequent. f lilred taking the bus downtown and rummaging in the junk shops, browsing in W H. Smith's, or just waking around, observing the life of the city. I had a couple of music4 allies at school, and my strange voyeunistic hendship with Tom, the teenage Don Juan. Generally, things were OK, or at least, I knew where I stood, But my dad was building houses in (2sspors as part of a '"self-build""cooperative, and we were to get the second completed house.
But I dodt h o w haw he'd dgugssed that X afso had the kind of ear that could tell me, for instance, what kind of t h g s to play on them in a given piece. I didn't even h o w that myself. But X knew that the timpani, alone in the drum kindom, could be tuned to speciflc notes, and since this piece was in D, I mned them m tbe most usefir1 ones: D and A. And as the orchestra flayed, 1 listened fcrr the d&t timpani moments, vvhich I instinc~velyfelt should be few, but dramatic. X bashed out the obvious loud cadences, lay in wait in the quiet passages, anempted a crescendo roll, and ended with a flourish.