For thirty years Nick Coleman immersed himself in music, from rock’n’roll to prog rock,” jazz to classical, until one morning as he sat up in bed, his right ear went stone deaf. His left ear as though to compensate started to make horrific noises like the inside of an old fridge hooked up to a half-blown amplifier.”
The Train in the Night explores the ways in which a music critic must cope with a world that has abruptly lost its most important element sound. But Coleman shares more than his struggle; he delves back into his past to examine how music defined his identity, how that identity must be reshaped by its loss, and how, at times, the memory of the music can be just as powerful as the music itself.
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Nick Coleman was born in Buckinghamshire, England in1960 and grew up in Fenland, England. He was Music Editor of Time Out magazine for seven years, followed by many years as Arts and Features Editor at The Independent and Independent on Sunday. He has also written for The Times, the Guardian, US Vogue, GQ and many more -- mostly about music. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
It was deafening in there. A fight. A riot. I began to be frightened of any sort of ambient sound and of people who threatened to make it by scraping chair legs or laughing or handling paper bags. I began to treasure the thought as well as the actuality of silence. It became the best thing imaginable. Both literally and metaphorically, I’d spend the day with pillows wrapped around my head to keep sound out, while on the inside, my head felt ready to explode with pressure, as if my brains were pushing like a slowly inflating balloon against the inner surface of my skull. And then new detail began to manifest within the lagging. In the still of the night I was lullabied by a tiny monkey playing a tiny pipe organ.”
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