He had a giant beard, giving the feeling of being wise beyond his years. He barely moved as he sang, lips, fingers. His sadness was infinite, his music brought tears to your eyes, it never stopped. Follow Josh T. Pearson’s eternal laments through Belleville’s bustling streets.
1. The Eyes/The Beard
Josh has the beard of a man who has had the time to live, who has lived many times. It is long, it is dense, engulfing his cheeks, taking over his face to the point that it has become the face, his identity; it gives him his age, his severity. When you get close to Josh, when you see his eyes, they are young, blue, frighteningly intense. Think about Daniel Day Lewis’ mustache and eyes in There Will Be Blood. That intense.
2. The Never-Ending Song
We already felt it in the Lift to Experience era, and it was confirmed when we heard the album: each of Josh T. Pearson’s songs is a lament, a mantra to while away the hours. This is what happened that afternoon. In a quiet street, in an empty hallway, in the tumult of the boulevard de Belleville, with no one around, crowded, he would have still played, and played the same song. We usually followed, sometimes we lead. On a sloping street, he fooled around by confronting each descending car, while continuing to play, on and on…
3. The Chinese
We’d chosen Belleville. Without really knowing why, other than being attracted by rue Denoyez, its graffiti-covered walls, unceasingly redecorated. We hadn’t thought about it being the Chinese New Year: dragons, drums, strings of firecrackers. It began as a game of cat-and-mouse, trying to get a song in before a new explosion of joy rang louder than Josh’s voice. Later, it became simply the inclusion of slow movement within the fast bustle, the roaming of a musician, alone, rootless, inaudible and invisible in the noisy, joyous crowd. The sun set, we’d been there for two hours, and Josh had yet to finish his song.
We had to double our efforts to get somewhere else, to sing another song. There was a passage a little to the south, empty, a stained glass window, reverb. He was there; he was all.