Attention is a curious thing, simultaneously capable of being fully engaged and light years away. Renown Australian DJ Dirty South’s “I Swear” remix encapsulates this phenomena perfectly.
While the track’s frantic piano keys and driving bass take one to frenzied heights, hauntingly sung and poignantly written lyrics tether us to reality. The ultimate effect is that of being in the eye of the storm, fully immersed and yet somehow impartial.
An interesting allegory can be found in the experience of the festival-goer. Within the bounds of concert attendance there are a range of occurrences, some talked about, others often not. One that falls in the latter category has a unique and powerful makeup; difficult to encapsulate, except by a precise description of its circumstances, and a roundabout explanation of its nature. The phenomena in question is brought on by a combination of factors born both within and without the individual to whom it occurs.
The first criteria is the availability of a powerful stimulus, in this case music, capable of evoking emotions strong enough to overcome any personal barriers against intimacy. The second criteria is the presence of, and membership within, a crowd. It is vital that the individual not only be amidst a delirious group, but count themself among its ranks. The final criteria is close to the heart of the phenomena itself, and is the inner catalyst. It is the sudden and startling realization that one is not alone, that what is taking place is beautiful, and that it ought to be caught for posterity.
The culmination of these criteria places one at a crossroads, both at the heart and the extremities of the group. An enigma, engulfed in the emotion, but momentarily motionless, playing the observer.
That’s how the song makes me feel, anyway.