However, neither of the tracks I just mentioned would be ones that I considered 'beautiful' because, to me, beauty is associated with a more positive mindset. It may well be melancholy but it would be the more wistful side of that rather than the black and dark feelings that I associate with the events above. Even the little-known That's what you say by Skypark will forever be marred by the fact that I cried to it on repeat in the week following Toby and I splitting up. Alas, this is not on youtube or I would share it with you. It is powerful stuff.
Instead, when I think of beautiful music I think of the sort of thing that would make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on end, the sort of music that would make me think of things beyond where I was. It transports me to somewhere, and often somewhen, else. In the case of Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene that place was the year 3093 and the situation was the 'really not a civil war' setting of London - now a sprawling cityscape that covers most of what we know as England. Here there was the 'Precinct' in nordwestengland that changed hands on a virtually daily basis and formed the main patrol route of the paramilitary Police force in the area known as Ground Five. Our hero was Michael Bradshaw, an ex-member of one of the forces struggling for total control of the city, and the nation, that went by the name of Flying Panthers. He served under his commander Andrew Griffin, several times decorated for bravery in the tail end of the last war and a fully qualified pilot. They did battle with many gangs and factions every night in high tech weaponised patrol cars and tanks. This alternate and terrible future was beautiful in my imaginings because it was so clear. I cannot begin to descibe how the snowstorms and electrical storms looked over the ravaged and broken cityscape, nor what the smells were or how they triggered things. Basically, the Oxygene album evoked, in me, a thing of terrible and raw beauty that I still look back on with affection and I don't know how. Listen to it and see what it does for you, even if Jarre is a fraud.
Next up is the, frankly, awesome Forever Autumn from the War of the Worlds double album. It may be mainly prog-rock noodlings with very little in the way of artistic merit to most people but, to me, it filled me with a sense of wonder that something could be imagined so. There was also a deep sense of fear when I listened to it, party due to plot and partly due to the narration, about how it had been created. It evoked such flurries in my mind that I often found that I had to listen to it with my eyes closed. It was never something I found that I could work to or write to or anything like that. It was so powerful that I found that I had to literally shut off the outside world whilst it played and let the story take hold. I have a CD player in the car now (yes, I am that high tech) and I know that playing this there would render me incapable of driving. In that sense then, in the creation of awe in me, this track in particular is a thing of great beauty. It speaks to my emotional state, insomuch as I have one, and has very much become how I view the world. Melancholy and sad but tinged with hope. My version has the full narration, I'm not certain if the youtube link I'll use here does. I think it may also explain why I liked Gotye's Somebody that I used to know so much.