Pet Sounds: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a piece of music or song. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]
Nothing really happens at the disputed “Salt & Pepper”; oh no, it should be “Sgt Pepper”.
Letting my hair down, I swing back and forth along with the mind-altering music—getting myself into the psychedelic mood, ready for a hallucinatory bombardment. Light beams radiating bright above my head, blurring my vision. Bobbing my head to and fro, my body grooves to the floating dynamic; who knew the narcotic power of colours could be so strong—so strong to make me see and feel the world a little less and less. Light as a feather. A stranger’s fingers linger softly in my hair, excite me bit by bit, with their sensational touch. I bet it’s either genius Paul or John.
So misty, so dreamy this night is, with its heightening pleasure that accompanies a strong sense of guilt and crisis. This is a sophisticated trap that lures lost sheep to be drowned, plunged and absorbed into a sea of funky rave, and then pulls us with an evil clutch into a boundless dark abyss. Drink a dozen throat-burning vodkas and drive me to the mind-swindling hell. Soothingly. Our destination might be somewhere beyond the world.
There is no doubt that Sgt Pepper is a drug album. That psychedelic swirl attempts to swallow you, with a gulf of sounds: flutes tutu-ing, trumpets booboo-ing, me haha-ing, fingers tingting-ing and alarm ring-ringing. But the sounds do not play their parts very well in the wake of psychedelia; musicians, with a blank score flipped open in front of them, orchestrate a bunch of noises undefined by one single particular category, yet presenting our everyday sounds in an avant-garde style. Delicate and transparent but very revealing. Like hundred and thousands of iridescent bubbles plumbing out of nowhere in a magical way. Where do they go? There is no way any of us could trace them, only the wind—the wind brings them high to a place we could never comprehend with our knowledge and understanding. Imagine! It is paradise. It is music from Pandora’s box.
P.S. The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” is a groundbreaking album representing a “psyche-classical synthesis” of a range of music styles. In 2017, it turns 50! Hooray!
Mignon Chiu is a student of the Department of English and Department of Education (Class of 2018). [Read all entries by Mignon.]