I hear music like that, and I’m transported, somewhat. It’s a hypnotic mode of transport. Plucking you up on electric strings and carrying you onwards.
To the Electric Ladyland, apparently.
I might let the hetero-normative assumptions and potentially misogynistic subtext slide for once.
And just think about the electrifying nature of sexuality.
Apparently Jimi took inspiration in several women of his ‘acquaintance’. This song was dedicated to them, his electric ladies.
Sex is electricity, on at least one level. It can be about energy sliding between bodies. Currents and movements swirling between people. It can certainly feel like exploring an electric land. The body of another, the touch of another. It sets one on fire. Sparks flying.
It’s all cliche, but then ,that’s words trying to capture the ephemeral and failing, as always.
But that sliding guitar, that falsetto vocal, that gentle surging through electric tones. That captures something reminiscent.
Music captures sexuality much better than words do. A story can take you by the hand and lead you down a path that may or may not touch you; but music wraps you up and carries you there. Rushing on ahead it cascades towards the destination.
Or not. Destinations aren’t really the point here, it’s another thing where the journey is the thing you need to enjoy.
So that’s an electric ladyland I’ve been to.
The place where music massages the brain just as fingers can caress the body. The state of being where sensation melts into itself. Sound becomes touch and both inspire memory, thought, creativity.
Great music can peer into your heart, look so intently into it that it starts to puff and expand. I feel my chest fill up, pressure builds and bursts outwards. I shudder with the pressure of it. The sensation is immense.
It clatters outwards in movement and noise. Singing and drumming and dancing in rhythm.
Familiar notions from both sides of the ladyland.
It’s not electric electricity, but it’s that charge that’s built up between two differently formed elements. Electrodes driven into the brain. Contrast and movement and cycling and currents.
It all pushes through, circuits buzzing back and forth, round and round. Deep inside and back to the world again.
That’s the electricity I’m most familiar with. Or at least the one I welcome most.
Music. Cascading through me. Refreshing and energising. Charging like bulls through my ears and into my brain and deep into my body.
A spark travelling through to the ground, my feet pushing away, flexing upwards through the body. Everything comes from the centre. Movement and circulation.
And at the end we reach some kind of black out. The power fades as the music dies out, and we’re left holding candles and fumbling in the darkness.
Maybe we can sit a while and sing to ourselves.
Find some new harmonies.
It’s worth a shot.
Finding the electric in the power cut.
Wish you were here.
Illustration by Anna-Kaisa.