I went to the watch store the other day.
The battery in my watch had died, and to get it replaced, I went to a clock/watch repair shop near where I live. And I don’t mean the appliance section of a department store. This was an old-school, mom-and-pop, smells-like-a-clock-store type of place. I didn’t even fully realize that such stores still existed. It was a bit of an out-of-century experience to be surrounded by technology that hasn’t changed since the 1800s.
But the thing that struck me most as I walked into the place was the sound: the ticking of dozens and dozens of clocks of every imaginable size and style, each one clicking at its own pace, telling its own time. I couldn’t spot a single one that had the actual time on it. It was weird.
And it made me think of this song. So here it is.
What makes this a beautiful song:
1. The cross-rhythms. This is a very percussion-heavy song, in that many of the instruments are important for their rhythm as well as the actual note they’re playing. The further you get in the song, the more 3’s against 4’s you start to hear…and the more you start to feel like you’re living in a clock repair shop.
2. The choir. They sound separate from the rest of the song because they don’t seem to be tied to the beat in any way.
3. The organ. As the song ends, the chords are sustained by the stuttering organ, which slowly fades to silence.
Recommended listening activity:
Synchronizing all the clocks in your house.