ABC: Music (2011) – N

Music is very important to me. I like to surround myself with music throughout the day: when I wake up; when I’m on the road; when I’m eating; when friends are visiting; when I feel sad; when I feel happy. No moment is truly experienced without a certain ‘soundtrack’ to accompany it.
I can get quite attached to a song which creates two distinguished consequences:

1- I find it very difficult to share, for I consider it my song. As soon as others start to play the song the love can extinguished quite easily. Only the very best survive this challenge.
2- The song will be played over and over again until it has completely integrated with a certain moment in time. So the next time I hear it again it will take me back to that specific moment.

I try to learn myself that ‘not sharing the music’ is relentlessly selfish and very much not the point of what music is about. Music is about sharing and bringing people together. So therefore I decided to make a tribute to all the music that is or has been important to me. Hopefully it will inspire others to share their own personal music alphabet and to explore the musical sights that were off their map before.

N: Natural’s Not In It (Gang of Four)
Once I tried to convince some people to use this song as the opening tune for an audiovisual project we were doing but then I realised it was already used in that way by Sofia Coppola. She was actually the one who brought this song to my attention. To use it in that way myself would by either a post-modern tribute or a really bad form of unoriginality. Since the line between these two options wasn’t very clear to me I figured it wouldn’t be very clear to others either, so I stopped my campaign and agreed to use a different song.

I guess I had completely made the song my own to the extent that I had forgotten where I got it from in the first place: Coppola’s movie Marie Antoinette, the movie I already mentioned at A. In some way this movie completely turned around my musical taste. I don’t even know whether I like the movie because of the movie or because of the music. What I do realise is that whenever I enjoy the music I really love the movie, but when I don’t enjoy the music it can ruin the movie completely. Even if the images are beautiful and the performances exquisite.

To most people sight is the most important sense. To me that isn’t any different. I mean if I would have to choose between going blind or going deaf the decision wouldn’t be a difficult one. Reading and writing is way easier without sound than it is without sight and so are a lot of other things in life. But then again I wonder if we over-appreciate our eyes and forget the value of our other senses? Touch, taste and especially smell are neglected senses and taken for granted a lot of the time. But only imagine how to cook without these senses. You aren’t able to feel if the mango is ripe or to taste if you added enough pepper (not that you would have to add any for you can not taste it anymore) nor are you able to smell if your meat is burning (at least you wouldn’t be able to taste that anymore either – but then what pleasure could food give us?).

These senses are just as important to us in our daily life as our eyes. And in the same way music is just as important to a movie as the images. So in this context it isn’t strange that I appreciate a movie if the music is right. It’s all part of a bigger picture; all the elements together make it into a complete well-constructed work, one to enjoy and to experience with all our senses. And that is Natural, even though the Gang of Four would decide otherwise:

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