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Sound Reasons, The Front End of the Note

Updated on March 30, 2016

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An artist's conception of sound and feelings transferred between musician and audience,  soft pastel on black paper.
An artist's conception of sound and feelings transferred between musician and audience, soft pastel on black paper. | Source

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The Front End of the Note

It's all about how he drew out the front end of that note, as if he'd been singing it since before he'd been born and this song was the first new thing he'd ever said. It was like watching the first sunrise and like quenching my thirst on the first swallow of pure water. I knew from that instant there was something special about that awkward-looking rumpled man on the stage.

He'd never win American Idol; he had stringy hair and a missing tooth but that wasn't all of it. Somehow, I knew instinctively his charisma and talent wouldn't translate to recorded media. Somehow, I realized what he had to offer was something more intimate, more vital. Terry Kennegan's music must be enjoyed fresh and straight from the source. I've heard many of the greats of rock and roll live and in incredible, high-quality recordings but none of them prepared me for the sheer, heart-clenching power of the sound.

It was like I was hearing music for the very first time. It was hearing music for the very first time. It was like losing my virginity but knowing how to make love like a god to the woman of my dreams. But there was nothing sexual about it; even gender ceased to exist.

I had never before heard only music, felt only music. There's always the distractions, the uncomfortable chair or the waitress bringing a drink or even just wondering about whatever has been on my mind lately. With his voice and his guitar, there was none of that, just sound. I was inside it and he turned me into it. I rode it into a nebula of images and feelings. I fell in love, I felt murderous rage. I cried for my mother, but silently. Everyone was silent. There was no rustling of coats or clearing of throats. No one was texting or Tweeting or ordering a drink. Every open eye was fixed on the short, nervous-looking and sloppily-dressed man on the stage. Some had their eyes closed so as to not spoil the sound with sight. Others, like myself, didn't need to; no other stimuli even registered.

I thought I would die when the final note died away from his strings. There was an incredibly loud silence and then the crowd burst into applause, weeping, clapping, yelling and whistling. Only then did it occur to me that not a soul had applauded for the entire set. He'd played ten precious songs and not a clap or a whistle had been made until they were all over. I think none of us wanted to break the spell or to defile the same air with our crude noises between those waking dreams of such intensity.

I think that's when I realized he wasn't completely human.


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