L.E.D.s at Venn

Green, red, sometimes orange diodes, only slightly smaller than children’s milk teeth, illuminated the sound desks erected at gigs throughout Venn. Some flickered, some stayed for the duration, others remained transparent, keeping their colour to themselves. They reminded me of some equally small lights I saw a few years ago in Paris. While I was at university, a friend of mine was living in this city and every so often I’d visit her, usually when I’d received my student grant. One time we went for a walk and ended up near Nôtre Dame. She took me to a place nearby on the riverfront, Le Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation, a memorial to the many thousands of individuals who were deported from France to death camps by the Nazis and complicit Vichy government during the 1940s. It has been several years since I visited the memorial but one aspect of it remains very clear in my memory: the walls of a dim, narrow corridor covered in thousands of tiny luminous quartz crystals, each one symbolising a deportee.

It is not so strange to think of those lost souls when attending a gig. The concentration of humanity within ill lit rooms of course has the difference of intention, of fate perhaps. Yet when I think of all the sound desks I have gazed upon I wonder if there are enough L.E.D.s in the world to commemorate all the lives which have been maimed or cut short and all those that are yet to be.


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