The week before she died, Chris and I had been planning to share the soundtracks of our lives by doing our own version of Desert Island Discs. Our individual choices would have been very different, but there is one piece of music that I’m confident we would both have chosen: Penguin Café Orchestra’s Perpetuum Mobile.
She introduced me to their music early in our relationship when we were busy falling in love with each other. She’d seen them live many times and relished both the intricacy of their ensemble playing and their obvious enjoyment of each other on stage: a perfect metaphor for life as she wanted to live it.
Perpetuum Mobile is the track I will forever associate with Chris. The melody is constantly moving. It’s full of energy and life; somehow both playful and profound at the same time. It is her and for me (the romantic of the pair) it is symbolic of our relationship: it’s “our tune.”
We chose it to play at the Registry Office when we got married and I chose it for her funeral service. It accompanied us into this world as man and wife and it marked her passing into another.
I played it again this morning for our good friend Kathy Skerritt who visited Chris last year when she was in hospital. Our tears flowed freely and we laughed between sobs as the music evoked bitter-sweet memories of our beloved companion, and as we imagined her somewhere else, still in perpetual motion.
Listen to it now and think of her.