Joined: April 2018
||Posted: April 08 2018, 13:30
HERGEST RIDGE has a deep and powerful effect on me emotionally and spiritually, way beyond any other music I know. It seems to put me in contact with something I can best describe as profound joy. It may even be what some people call enlightenment. It speaks to me of bliss, supreme contentment, perfect security with perfect freedom - a feeling of being at peace with the world, and the profound bliss of being wholly alive in the moment.
Unfortunately, wonderful though the feelings are, they are always slightly detached – it’s not so much a case of feeling profound joy as being made aware of it - the music doesn’t give me enlightenment, it merely shows me it.
This is a double edged sword, depending how I’m feeling! Sometimes it feels like a glimpse of something I will one day be able to find in my real life, which is heavenly, but other times it can feel utterly unattainable, and that can feel very melancholy.
In Mikes autobiography he says that he was musically dried up after Tubular Bells, was suffering badly with panic attacks, guilt, emotional anger, was drinking too much to suppress the attacks, and that Hergest Ridge was a real struggle to get recorded.
BUT. . .
He also says how he loved his hideaway on Bradnor Hill and the view of the ‘beautiful, long, ridged hill called Hergest Ridge. He also talks about his music as a ‘cocoon he could retreat to where everything was beautiful and safe . . . that stopped the panic attacks from coming’. I believe it is the contrast between these feelings that makes Hergest Ridge so powerful emotionally. The more angst he had, the more deeply he gave himself to that beautiful musical world inside himself, and the more wonderful was the music he was able to draw out of it. But – the ultimate tragedy of the artist; terrible pain giving rise to beautiful art, which fails to help with the pain, which itself prevents you fully appreciating what you have made.