soundtrack

14 Nov

The accordion is symptomatic of how I’m feeling right about now, but it is also currently the soundtrack to my days. It’s a bit melancholy and wheezy and associated with Europe and old-world sentiment. I’ve been listening to a lot of accordion-based music because I’m currently (read: for about the last three months) fascinated by the film composer Dario Marianelli. Now DM’s a bit of a groovy bean because he writes music that really evokes the overall spirit of the film; in the soundtracks he’s done that I especially like, he’s had a book to go on as well and I think he captures that, too.

So – there’s Pride and Prejudice, which sounds very Regency; oboes and fiddles and strains of genteel ball music, with some windy, sweeping sounds for the vistas of the Lakes and intricate, delicate, tender tunes for romantic and tense scenes with Elizabeth and Darcy. Then there’s Atonement (or possibly that came first; anyway this is the order I’ve seen them in) which is entirely based around the metronomic, fatalistic clacking of a typewriter and runs like a rather knobbly and intrusive spine throughout the film. Then there’s Jane Eyre. I think this one’s my favourite; it sounds like Winter and corsets and heather and being caught in a rainstorm on your way home. It’s deliciously chilling and warming at the same time; it’s ethereal. Then there’s the one I’ve been pouring into my ears almost on loop for 24 hours – Anna Karenina. This is clever – it sounds like Tchaikovsky, written by a Frenchman, with street music and European folk tunes woven in like a purposely-conspicuous patch in an inconspicuous place. There’s quite a lot of accordion that creeps into AK, I think because it is generally seen as the European music of the street, and pre-Revolutionary Russia, especially Petersburg, was keen to identify itself with Europe – its fashions, its music, its art, its forays into philosophical, economic and political thinking.

So, yes. Dario Marianelli. I hope one day he’ll write the soundtrack to either something I’ve written, or my life. Either would be excellent and lovely. My hopes are dwindling, however, because I’ve just had the rug slightly tugged from under my feet – apparently what I’m currently studying is just about to be published by someone else. This is a bit of a kick in the face. I mean, ok, it’s probably not *exactly* the same, but it’s going to be damn difficult to make it look like I didn’t just write a rip-off version entirely based on this work. And I’ll have to read it, so that I know what not to repeat (and of course it’s not out yet, so I won’t be able to get hold of it, and even once it is out, I’ll have to read it over about 3 weeks on Saturdays when I can get to the library). Moan, moan. I’m sure you think that if this is all I’ve got to complain about then I should just get over myself. Well, that’s probably true, first world problems and all that. That doesn’t make it any less of a bitter pill, though. I mean, I had this idea round about January time. If I had time and resources and the faith of a big-name publisher, I could be in the same position as my rival, or at least not far behind. Ach.

This is the point that the mournful accordion would start up in the film of my life, as the camera shot pans back from me moping over my laptop, out into the night etc. Perhaps if it’s a bit more of an arthouse film the camera would stay on me, stationary, while I did mundane pre-bedtime things, like rearranging pillows and musing over the practicalities of sleeping in socks (it always seems like a good idea at the time but unless it’s actually Arctic out there, it’s not worth the attempt). It’d be nice to think DM would write a soundtrack for me. It’s a dangerous game, though – there are tragic elements in all the stories he writes music for. Have I had mine already, or is it still somewhere en route?

Scary stuff. Anyway, I’m off to bed, to dream in waltz-time.

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