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Topic - BDSM - Bartosso's Daily Saturnine Musings
Posted: 14 Oct 2014 at 7:53am By bartosso
#2 - Music, books and how to make them whole.

Before I start, a disclaimer, let's make it a tradition:

You have to be a reader and listener in order to understand the following essay. Please do not read if you can't (duh) and also if you don't enjoy/listen to music. As a bonus, kill yourself, no joke. You also should be over 18 years old.


Music. One word, countless feelings evoked. Ah, yes, so you came here to read something written by this guy that tries soooo hard. Here you go. Today's essay's about emotional/conceptual associations we make between books and music we listen to at the moment of reading. 

The first time it happened to me was looong before puberty. I think I was 5 - 8 years old at the time. I had a Disney book called "Hercules". It told a disturbing story about a ginger muscle guy, no need to talk about it now. Anyway, somehow I ended up listening to M people cassette while reading the book. Even now, many years later, I still "feel" the book every time I listen to M people... which is never by the way, I don't listen to that crap anymore! So, I felt it, every time I listened to M people. By feeling it, I don't mean any scenes or characters in particular, just the atmosphere in general and feelings the book evoked in me. It's just as if the music were a soundtrack to the story, regardless of how incompatible M People and Hercules are. Another, maybe even sillier example, is Bjork's Isobel, a track from Post. As an avid dinosaurs fan, I read many books about these amazing creatures throughout my childhood. I fantasized about them, I saw them among the trees while looking through the car window, hell, I even pretended to be one! It's not made up, I swear! So, anyway, I used to listen to Bjork quite a lot too at the time. Isobel has become that one track that I instantly associated with dinosaurs. I actually thought it was ABOUT dinosaurs, running through the forest, majestically raising their heads above the treetops. How disappointed I was when I found out, many years later, that the track's name is Isobel (yeah as a kid I didn't care about titles) and what's more, it's absolutely not about dinosaurs.

A few years ago I realized that I could actually enhance my reading experience by listening to one album over and over again while going through a book. It creates a bond. Obviously it can't be just any album but rather one that you already know pretty well and like quite a lot. For instance, I've been reading Murakami's Hard-boiled Wonderland and The End of the World, one of his most surreal books. As I head some awesome experience with Reisefieber by Mikołaj Łoziński and One Armed Bandit by Jaga Jazzist, I started to associate an album with a book and listen to it. If it worked, I had this book "stuck" in the music for the rest of my life. If it didn't, well, I'd change the music or read without any music at all. So, anyway, I listend to Kayo Dot Choir's of The Eye while reading Murakami. And let me tell you, it worked great. Both the book and the album are great but they're even better as a duo. Kayo Dot gives you the sense of wonder, menace and psychedelia and that's exactly what you need to amplify the mood of Hard-boiled Wonderland.

I know it might not be the most groundbreaking thing and some of you have already tried this. Still, if you haven't, give it a shot: pick an album you like, album you think would go well with the books you're reading and listen to it. Bind the album to the book and keep it this way forever.

Edited by bartosso - 15 Oct 2014 at 5:09am

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