Scents and Subtle Sounds

If you would only start to live

One moment at a time

You, would I think, be startled

by the things that you would find

Creeping out like a the opening of a old fable, Scents and Subtle Sounds begins.  Whispered like cryptic life instructions to their audience, as we navigate an overwhelmingly complex modern age, Trey and Tom suggest a more examined life- with simplicity comes virtue.  With slowed down conscious moment-to moment living, most people in this country would be baffled with what their life would be like.  The pace of life today is absurd, and seldom do people stop to appreciate the fabric of it all.  This song is all about the fabric- the subtleties in life that often inspire the most beauty.  The unexpected often arrives when we stop trying and doing for a while, and just let things unfold– paying attention the the usually glossed over details.  If we can manage to live in the ever-unfolding now” the things that we “might find” are the things we have been questing for our whole life- peace, happiness, fulfillment, inspiration, focus, positive energy, love.  As “startling” as it may be to reach these places, the song suggests that “it” is ultimately possibly for us all.

Like scents you never noticed

And many subtle sounds

like colors in the landscape

And textures of the town

Running late, sipping coffee while getting off the subway, working with our head buried all day; only to race home, have a few drinks and start again.  This reality we live in is fast, but that doesn’t mean our minds have to be.  I’m no buddha, and certainly do not attain states of continued enlightenment- but I know that we set our own pace.  We need to; because as Ferris said, “Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  And what they are telling us in this song, is a metaphorical version of what Ferris told us over 20 years ago.  If we don’t stop once and a while we’ll miss out on the fabric.  The scents we never noticed and many subtle sounds.  The colors and textures that are woven into the fabric that make each moment unique- it is our choice how many we are present for.

Then the winds will would lift you up

Into the sky above

And you’d be treated to a view

Of everything you love

If we live in the moment- every moment- recognizing what it provides for us, we are bound to succeed.  Good or bad, foolish or smart, each moment is there to live to the fullest, teaching us, bringing us up into the sky above.  If we are true to ourselves, true to the moment, true to our souls; we will be always surrounded by love.  The winds of inspiration will blow eternal for us if we live focused for only the present, because in reality, there is nothing else.  Just as Garth once commanded Wayne, “Live in the now!”

And if the moment passes

You should try it once again

For if you do it right

You’ll find that moment never ends

We all make mistakes.  We can’t always be present, and that awareness of being in the moment is often fleeting.  All we can do is try our best.  But if we lose our path, or the moment passes- we should always remain determined.  If successful in blazing our path in life, happiness springs eternal.  That blissful moment, at the peak of your favorite Phish jam, is eternity- its possible.  I am sure of it.  Don’t ask me how- but I am sure of it.  I’ll be sure to post about it if I figure it out.

If you would stop and notice that we number every day

But allow the many moments left uncounted slip away.

We, as a mass culture, are missing it.  Ripping pages off the calendar, stretching for the weekend, but allowing the fabric to go unnoticed.  There is beauty in all moments, and we often choose to ignore it. We must try to appreciate each experience for the value it has, and move from one focused experience to the next.  We need to pay more attention.

You don’t have to count them, just enjoy them one by one

Then things would take a different hue and sparkle in the sun

The wind would lift you up into the sky

Just live.  Don’t count experiences.  Don’t count shows.  Don’t worry about how much of one thing or another you have- just enjoy.  Just be.  Rage every moment of every Phish show- rage every moment of every day.  Rage our showers, and our dreams; rage our classes and our families.  Rage life unconditionally.  If we can just live for the sake of living, moment by unfolding moment, things might look a little different and “sparkle in the sun.”  And here are those winds again.

The winds would lift you up into the sky above

Where you would see a trail of treasured memories you love

A rainbow record of the thoughts and moments you’ve enjoyed

Arcs behind the earth as spectral colors in the void

The void- nothingness, everything, the universe, eternity.  Lyrical poetry that barely needs interpretation.  Valuing the now will lead to rainbow trails in eternity.   Spectral memories of moments you enjoyed; you didn’t lose track.  You did it.  You never lost sight of the big picture for too long, and never lost sight of the fabric- the invisible art that paints our daily moments and inner galaxies- colors in the void.

At least that’s what I think the song is about.


A year before shocking the Phish world by dropping “Dark Side” in this venue, Phish played an incredibly adventurous two sets that truly set the tone for Fall ’97. Boasting the first “four song second set” of Fall 1997 in Wolfman’s > Piper, Twist > Slave, this show was a huge foreshadowing of the type of playing would emerge on the now legendary tour. With a first set featuring a quality Runaway Jim, Gumbo opener, a funkadelic 2001>Funky Bitch, and a hot Antelope to close; this show smokes from start to finish. Download and listen to the show that really got Fall ’97 kicked off after a solid warm up in Vegas the night before. The second set is a can’t miss gem.

ALSO, Miner’s Picks: Summer ’99 have been updated to Mediafire.

11/14/97 E Centre, Salt Lake City, UT
Set I: Runaway Jim, Gumbo, Maze, Fast Enough For You, Gumbo, Also Sprach Zarathustra >Funky Bitch, Guyute, Run Like An Antelope
Set II: Wolfman’s Brother > Piper > Twist > Slave to the Traffic Light
E: Bold As Love

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