The renowned violinist endured a lengthy operation to repair a ruptured aorta. He was under a general anaesthetic, his heart was stopped, and his head cooled to prepare for oxygen starvation. While this happened he felt himself die...'beautifully, ecstatically, transcendentally...' When he awoke his life was changed forever.
For nearly forty years Paul Robertson performed throughout the world as First Violinist of the internationally renowned Medici String Quartet, of which he was a founder member. In 2008 the main artery to Paul's heart ruptured, leading to him dying on the operating-table, and then being resuscitated. Paul subsequently hovered in a deep coma for six weeks, close to death and experiencing visions, affording him profound insights into the relationship between music and the subconscious. When he came to he felt he had been reborn - fundamentally, a different person - and not just because the left side of his body was partially paralysed. Instead, he woke with a completely new acceptance of the meaning of death, and a belief in life beyond. Now 64 years-old, Paul has decided not to undergo any more surgery, facing a very uncertain future and living on borrowed time. In this book Paul reflects on his musical training, his insights into the difficult realities of ensemble playing, and about the possible meaning of his experiences in both life and near-death. This extraordinary and poignant memoir will be for all musicians, spiritual thinkers and musical laymen who have engaged with the rigours of learning music.