Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Music To Play By (Cont'd.)

Some songs are so vivid in memory; visions of events when the songs were played/sung were flashed so real in my eyes, the retina being the screen receiving films projected direct from reels of memories. Besides the titles, music or songs I mentioned here had come to be recorded in my multimedia memory not only because I listened to them sitting quietly and peacefully at home, in the living room, or laying in my bed, but because something came along with them each. Actually, I've been wanting to start the list from the earliest period I could ever recall, but that would be too far back (at four or five y.o.? well, I'd rather not). So, these songs had come to keep me company during some incidents or strolls.

  • Highschool retreat to Tinggimoncong, just before Malino. Along the winding and steep road, on the back of a military truck, on top of supplies stuff, Ucok played the guitar, me and some others sang. There had been some tunes, but most repeatedly "Obladi Oblada", the Beatles'. Why? Because we wanted to repeat the chorus that's always followed by a laughter (... with a couple of kids running in the yard//of Desmond and Molly Jones//ha ha ha ha ha ...).
  • Study tour to Leang Leang, whose flight of stairs never adds up to the same number to a different person or to the same person at a different time. On the way home, turned Freddy Mercury's "Mr. Bad Guy" on borrowed walkman.
  • In Bogor, in one car with Dedy, Franco, et al (where were we going, anyway? I suppose we were heading to Curug Nangka, preparing to climb the Mount Salak). Someone was expertly fiddling with the guitar, and we ended up singing "Semua Ada Di Sini" (transl.: It Was All Here), by Enno Lerian, and some other cheerful tunes.
  • One morning of my jobless days, some time after high school, I set out to the County Library about 1 km or so from home. I spent the morning reading till around midday, then out strolling. Before I realized I had been walking around quite to the other side of the city and had to complete half of the circle going home, sometimes following the direction of the high-wire transmission ('cause I knew there was one passing through the back of the area I lived in), sometime passing through an unlit village I hadn't known existed -- it was getting dark and people started lighting their oil lamps at the houses. Boy, no electricity, and I was about still within the boundaries of the city! Oh and it had rained for some time before I entered the village. (My clothes dried on me). It was still some time before I reached home (didn't have a clue how to get there, just guessing. and I would know it only when I finally got there). How many songs had there been? I didn't recall any at the start. There didn't seem to be any. But at some point, when I reached a wider, busier street I kind of felt lonely, and "In My Life", The Beatles came through (complete with the piano interlude, clearly). Whatever reasons brought that song out? The need to settle my breath to a steady pace, and helped me endure the tiredness and heavyness in my limbs a little longer? Don't think so. It should be the new places I had come across, new faces, new routes, that triggered it.
  • Speech competition held by Oxford Course. Second grade highschool. I had remembered some wiseman somewhere giving a useful advice to sing rock songs out loud to roll away stage fever (now I'd rather the tense and nervousness to not disappear at all; simply reduced, please). It was also the first time I learned to wear a tie by myself. I chose "We Will Rock You" and "Another One Bites The Dust". Oh and, surely, I didn't sing them on the stage, but minutes before.
  • Sunday School retreat in Pulau Kayangan (Kayangan Island). In the chill of midnight/early morning, on the dock, gazing through the face of the sea, a friend passed on his walkman, and "Party Doll", Mick Jagger, with a hint of a folksong, filled in.
  • One night I came along with Arnold and his father's group to a deserted island. Once there, I joined one of several canoes rowed ever so slowly, watching them catch stingrays using spears in the light of seaman's lamps. After supper by the campfire, Arnold and I took a stroll at the shore. His father was a distance ahead, blowing a harmonica. The sound came fading in and out through the night wind. "Oh! Susanna" (... oh, susanna, don't you cry for me//I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee ...).

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Music To Play By

Just yesterday I realized how quiet these days are without music. Made me wonder, how long we can make it without music ringing in our ears (including our 'shower performance')? Or, how many days of interval is our minimum dosage of musicine? (meaning, one more days without it, and somethin will go wrong because our brain gets dried up).

In the recent week I could, and would, get carried away tuning to swing jazz and big bands. A couple of days earlier, these ears of mine were yearning to the soothing of the sneering and innuendoes (even camouflaged in some love songs) of Bob Dylan. Several days before that, within a close interval of sundown, it was as if my biorhythm was at its peak dan could only be satisfied with Led zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Dylan's concert version or two latest albums ("Time Out of Mind" and "Love and Theft"). Funny thing is, after the swing period, or a few moments before came the lure to 'change lanes', I felt sure I could do with a little of Andrea Boccelli. All through the month, on the other hand, once or twice I still loved the afterecho of "Summertime", Charlotte Church's version, as sung in the film "I'll Be There".

(Oh and btw, writing this, at this early hour, I am listening to Alternative Rock. Staind, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars, H.I.M., Dashboard Confessional, RHCP, Pearl Jam, Transplants)

Hmm. Noisy life, eh? and yet I still remember about four days in a row I had come into my room everyday where no music was on whatsoever. At the workplace there usually was some music, but stepping back into my rented room, it was mute all over again. Those four days has led me to thinking this: how long can you survive without music, and still sane? How many days the longest?