June 23, 2004
So, I’m a listener of your show. I’ve called a couple times recently to have you identify a piece of music
while I’m still in the goose-bumpy throes of its effects on me: Shulamit Ran, a new Patti Smith tune,
a song by some amazing Romanian songstress. But, usually I just listen and float with the
“wow!-whatonearthwasthat?” feeling that I get so often on Monday afternoons.
I’ve lived in Boston for about 16 years, discovered your show maybe five years ago. I’m moving to Philly
in the Fall, and its dawned on me that I need to say goodbye to all of my favorite people and places and
experiences which this city has given me.
Today, I had just finished my gardening job and was driving back to Somerville while rehydrating and
listening to another set of mysterious and romantic and haunting and sad and ecstatic music that I would
have never heard if it wasn’t for you. The music had me way open and kinda nicely weepy. I decided that I
was going to write love letters to all of those people and places that are gifts of my experience here.
This is my first love letter to my city my home Boston. Hope the form of this communication doesn’t
wig you out. These letters will be my journal, but it’s important that they be read or heard. I’m just going
to be honest if a little fantastic.
Sue! I have a big radio crush on you. First of all, you keep playing these dangerously beautiful songs,
and these subversive aural comedies which contadict so well the daily oppression of this working class man’s
days. What planet did this singer come from? What magician artist came up with that melody? What
language is that? and what could she be crying about in those words?
Once, a creature of Boston who I was just getting to know and also falling in love with (and who I married
this year) and I were travelling in a blizzard in Iceland. Total risky and ecstatic adventure where the
feeling of eternal safety you get from big love meets the honestly violent forces of nature and Creation. We
were looking for a place to park our little four wheel drive station wagon where we wouldn’t get covered with
snow by morning and where we would’nt be literally blown away. After a couple harrowing hours we found a
hydroelectric power plant to park behind as a windshield. As we spend the night with only Subaru
window glass between us and arctic hurricane force winds and snow, we talked and shook and laughed in
fright and excitement. We had found a radio station out of Rajkyavic playing crazy beautiful international
stuff. But one song came on that completely stopped our talking and made us just listen. In this north sea
storm, we were tuned in to a song story from the desert of northeast Africa which seemed to connect us
even more to the exact scary beautiful mournful and celebratory moment we found ourselves in. We just held
hands and listened to a flute howling and a couple voices praying and a whole village of drummers
dancing. That song is now deep deep in the tissues of both of our bodies, only barely latent. Sometime when
I listen to your show, I let myself wish for just a second that you’ll play whatever song that was.
What you play is, in fact, perfect.
And, then, you have that wonderfully sly name of your show. It lets me know you pay attention to Context,
and how we humans get meaning and life from Connection with others, people or spirit or place, and that in
the moments of joining all the magic and music happens. I imagine I’ve run into you some time and had
some perfectly complete 17-word conversation: on the orange line, or at the 1369 in Central Square, or atop
the BU bridge.
And then, your voice totally knocks me out. You have a way of whispering which roars. Ocean waves? Lots said
with tone and pause. Ascending end of sentences keeping things of a question. Tiny bits of laughter
that sound like you recognizing omens as they arrive and pass. And a nice reprieve from irony so easily
found at this frequency. You sound like you’re having fun, and that you’re not quite sure what’s going to
happen in the world in five minutes.
Of course, this is more about me than anything I know about you since I know nothing about you. But, you are
my deejay, the beautiful spirit guide voice in my head which sings agreeable lullabies and radical poems to
save me from disconnection, and from the death of imagination.
Thank you, Sue. Thank you music.
Do you Yahoo!?
New and Improved Yahoo! Mail – Send 10MB messages!
June 24, 2004
Your e-mail is truly a gift, and I am so grateful to you for taking the time to sit down and share your thoughts, and your wonderful story, with me.
You can easily understand that I sit in that little room, lights turned low, and put sounds — shaped by my own thoughts and tastes — out into space
without really know where they land. And off in some distant corner, the universe still sputters a special kind of spittle that grows, eventually,
into various creatures who share something about the ear, and the heart. And it is such pleasure to be reminded by you so beautifully that I do
belong to a people… the cadre of us beings who are deeply drawn by that mysterious working of the place in the middle of the head, just behind each
eye. A place that never itches, but does occasionally flutter, and is just about always open to what happens to drift in.
Thank you for coming forward with such honesty.
And I will now be searching for the Song of Beauty from the Storm, and promise to play it as soon as I find it.
Thank you, Korben.
And yes, thank you, music.