Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Amidst Politics

Comes a moderately whimsical exploration of something undoubtedly experienced by all and probably chronicled by many.

Despite the sun floating in a roughly even arc across the sky on any given day, with points of equal height above the horizon both sides of the meridian, morning and evening manage to feel markedly different. I would contend that waking up in an unfamiliar location, disoriented and unaware of the time of day, the quality of the light would still betray at least whether you were experiencing the AM of PM.

Is morning then more than just the angle of the sun's light and heat hitting me? The freshness of as yet unevaporated dew, could be a contributor, but is somewhat negated on rainy days, when morning still manages to feel different to afternoon. Is it all a mental thing, my head being freshly awoken and feeling optimistic at the prospect of engaging with a new day? Even on days when I wake in the afternoon, it manages to not feel like morning.

It is somewhat inexplicable, at least to a modest 22 year old with no formal training in the field of meteorology, but a basic grounding in finding himself somehow unable to listen to particular music at given times of the day. Or, to further expand, at certain times of year, or even with speakers and opposed to earphones.

For me, the quintessential albums highlighting this experience are Boards of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children, and Jackie-O Motherfucker's The Magick Fire Music. In the case of the former, I excitedly bought this album and put it into my discman in preparation for listening during my morning commute. For several days I was unable to get into the album at all, until my return trips, whereupon I became enraptured. For some time I put this down to the second half of the album being infinitely superior to the first, until for whatever reason i found myself listening to the first half in the evening, obviously surprised and excited at the way the same music was infinitely more listenable in this new context.

Jackie-O Motherfucker was a similar case, the difference being that in winter their slow, guitar based Americana with distracted strummings was excruciating listening, in particular through an iPod. However, as I sweltered in a particularly violent summer, the same pastiches suddenly found a setting, conjuring images of yellowed fields and lazily chewed straw, images much more familiar and welcome when I felt myself sympathetic to the yokel contained within my mind, lying against a haystack, napping and escaping the noon. Perhaps waiting for the afternoon to arrive, that he might listen to something that wouldn't sit at all well in the morning.

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