The Decline of John Fahey

Currents in the grain of wood indicate that the table is not simply a piece of furniture. It incorporates motion within its attitude of quiet reserve. In his late middle age – actually near the end of his life – the guitarist and writer, John Fahey, came to regard his early work as pretentious. He ate popcorn, drank too much beer and let his heart go to ruin. But this was also to permit his spiritual and corporeal self some latitude – some scope for change. It scarcely matters in the long term whether the change was ruinous or beneficial. I have been listening to his album, “The Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favorites”. His music has the capacity to return static objects to a state of flux. Now that the album is finished, I can hear the crickets whirring in the yard and the roar of the ocean in suburban streets. There are always too many surfaces and too many depths. Once again it is time to find my way elsewhere.

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