3.22.2014

soundtrack

KMHD billboard, Portland, OR

During college, I obsessively read Milan Kundera, who will one day be forgiven and granted the Nobel Prize, perhaps on his deathbed. In Immortality (I believe it was), he pronounces—and if my memory gets the quote wrong, I'll revise it later—"Life should have a soundtrack." Think about that for a second: everyone a film star, center of the story. How will it end? Is anyone watching?

Music consumed a large chunk of my childhood. We sang hymns in church every Sunday. I sang every day, either in church or school choirs. Having a sweet if not strong voice, I gave solos at funerals, at luncheons, in gyms and a school musical. Jazz choir was the best part of my high school day, the one hour, the one way, in which I could perform like a team player, and the only thing about high school I've ever missed. And then it all stopped.


OMSI via Hawthorne Bridge, Portland, OR

As an adult, I've gone months without singing, weeks without listening to anything. But when in transition or emotional turmoil, I crave music—probably to express feelings and thoughts I can't yet put into words—language on a more general scale, the particular in search of universal notes: You are not alone here. We are all one. That's about as close to spirituality as I can get.


winter sunset, Portland, OR

The soundtrack artist for this blog at present would be Mathieu Boogaerts, found via Café de Paris on SKY.FM, the only station I can listen to on low in the background for hours without feeling like climbing the walls or out of my skin. Boogaerts' tracks, especially those on his recent eponymous album, are minimal, the rhythms like heartbeats, the phrasing like breaths. I know a little French but not enough for the lyrics to distract my English thoughts. The music is filling some (temporary?) hole.


Hawthorne Bridge at dusk, Portland, OR


winter sunset in Willamette River, Portland, OR

So while I mull things over chez moi, chrysalis-like, tell me: What is your soundtrack? 

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