catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 5, Num 9 :: 2006.05.05 — 2006.05.19


Audio community

I first heard of Susan Enan when she was on tour a few years ago with Over the Rhine and we saw her open at Schuba's in Chicago. After looking for her album and realizing she only had an EP, I forgot her last name and nearly forgot about her wonderful performance. However, in talking with friends just a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned "Susan-someone," only to find out they knew her and just happened to have a stack of her EPs in their basement.

Last week when we were on our way to our friend Karla's house for dinner, I finally pulled out the EP our friends had given us. My recognition was immediate and the loveliness of it made me feel like I wanted to cry with joy and sadness and like I couldn't breathe and like I just loved the whole world and everything in it. Later, after dinner, we were relaxing outside in Karla's country yard and the setting was so perfect. Each of us had a glass of wine. We were sitting under some amazingly fragrant crabapple trees ("plant sex," as Karla calls the scent). Our friend Nancy was telling wonderful stories about the thought processes of her animals, which mostly involved the conversation between a mother mule named Joyce and a woodchuck who recently began to share the shed with Joyce and her babies. The setting sun was filtering through the pine trees and beyond that, the trees on the monastery grounds across the street. The light was making everyone around the table look particularly beautiful. I was so content and yet so anxious to get back in the car and listen to Enan's EP because it felt like the perfect accompaniment to that joyful memorable moment.

All this is to say that Enan's music gives me the same sensation as one of the first perfect evenings of spring, of simple and honest conversation with friends, of wonder at the fecundity of a waking earth and the people who tend her animals and arts. I look forward to the time she will share her gift more abundantly with a full-length album. Surely, there are more wonderful memories that will be in need of such accompaniment.

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