In harmony.


I am awestruck, speechless, crying, reeling, my heart is singing.

It was harmony beautified and ringing.

Coming out of Beirut‘s concert, I could not face getting on the NYC subway. To go into a compressed, harshly lit cubicle with people that haven’t just had the same all-encompassing sensory experience made me feel a deep aversion. The night was like a right of passage; I am struggling to put it into words. Speechless and awestruck seem frozen in time but describe my feelings nonetheless. I started walking and hummed my way down through the blinking city for the next two hours.

I can never listen to Beirut again without tearing, smiling or grabbing my drum to play along at full blown-out volume. I cried two or three times, not [only] because I was hearing, watching and experiencing this live, but because of its beauty. The instruments, the voices, each and every performer, each sound was in harmony with the other. Zach’s hand motions, the clapping on his chest to the beat of the drums, throwing his arm out at the end of a song.


How is harmony of this scale created, I wonder. That’s what everyone should be striving for. I started having a mid-life crisis, “Why am I on the road to becoming an architect and not a musician?” and making plans to abandon ship and start a new discipline, a new life-style. But then I remember that conversations about the beauty and importance in architecture have also made me tear and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up because it’s the beauty that it evokes and the effect it has on a human’s psyche and inner workings that makes one in tune with it.

The way the crowd cheered after the first encore, wondering if there would be a second, the resounding thumping of hands, feet and 3,000 voices banging and bouncing off every surface in the theatre, and the happiness that could be heard when Zach Condon came out once more. “Alright, I’ll play another song, you don’t have to ask like that! Jeez…”, a laughter while he picked up his ukelele for a solo of ‘The Penalty’ and then; complete and utter silence. Like a magic veil had just dropped over the raucous audience. An endearing little laugh from both audience and Zach when he screwed up and forgot the words and then stillness again; in that split second all of those different kinds of people became one , tied together in silence and waiting to be entranced once more. When something or someone can do that, you know that there is an invisible force backstage that we forget in our day to day lives.

There must be a recipe for a harmony that stirs the senses. Maybe it lies in the pursuit to escape the mundane or maybe it’s always there if you look or hear closely enough. But to be in the midst of it, is one of my greatest pleasures and inspirations.

The Penalty

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