Something I underestimate often is the power of music to make me feel things. I’m not talking lyrically, which is perhaps why I underestimate it: I’m used to being moved by words, but somehow the impact of a crescendo of violins or the sudden thud of a drum is surprising. I am listening to Sigur Rós a lot at the moment, mostly because I can’t understand the words and I need to not have words when I’m writing. The very first track of () always surprises me with a creeping sadness which I feel somewhere beneath my shoulders. It’s an eerie kind of a track with long, wavering notes and a plodding piano. It makes me feel very sad for a few minutes before it speeds up a little and swells with a determination that makes me want to type faster: perfect writing music!
I’m very familiar with the idea of associating music with particular events or feelings. If I want to wallow in nostalgia, there are certain CDs that are guaranteed to do it for me every time. If I’m feeling sad, I know what to listen to to really make the most of that feeling. If I’m feeling angry, there are CDs that I know will provide me with a satisfying dose of stormy music. But I never remember that something I don’t have any emotional attachment to (besides in the fact that I like it a lot) can spark in me such strong feelings.
So I leave you with the video to my favourite track of the moment, which I must say, wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I’ve never thought to look for a Sigur Rós video before… I think I imagined there’d be more blueness and swirling than this.
Edit: It has been brought to my attention that I insinuated that there were words to be understood in this track although I can't understand them myself. That, indeed, is what I thought, Sigur Rós being an Icelandic band with other records written in Icelandic. But I stand corrected: the vocals are in Hopelandic, which is an invented language with neither grammar nor vocabulary. In fact, it's not so much language as noise. So it's no wonder that I can't understand it!
Image borrowed from Sigur Rós