Day 10 – A Song that Makes You Fall Asleep: "Astral Weeks"
“Astral Weeks” – Van Morrison
“If I ventured in the slipstream / between the viaducts of your dream …” Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” invokes sleep from its very first lyric, and the very first time I heard those words I was on the verge of sleep, listening to a cassette copy of the record on my trusty Walkman. Just a teenager in the dark, being transported, “in another time / in another place / in another face,” I don’t remember whether I actually fell asleep during the song, but I could have; I’m almost falling asleep right now, listening to it as I write: it has that kind of meditative quality — intense but somehow soothing. It’s not Muzak, by any stretch: unlike “elevator music,” it’s various components — the abstract lyrics, Van’s voice, the playful bass, wind and strings — will engage your mind and your consciousness. But it will take you to a place that prepares you, if not for sleep, then for accepting an open flow of thoughts and ideas … thus, the perfect album opener for a record like Astral Weeks. And the perfect preparation for dreaming, if you are heading that way.