Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Max Richter - H In New England

Max Richter - Return To Prague

24 Postcards In Full Colour is dewey like a window with condensation dripping down. It's crystaline and a pleasant scent wafts through, the smell of a rainy summer walk through parks and trees and other such positive vibes like couples and ducks and kids playing. It's filmy, for sure. But if these postcards are in full colour, there must be too much of it, because it's flaking off, hues saturate into eachother and blur delightfully. If postcards are about places in time and receiving news from these different places, Richter has transferred those snapshots perfectly into pristinely flawed memories, with each song seemingly a different story. They're perfect because they're ideal; romantic memories, the sort that glow perhaps more than they did at the time but in hindsight come back to you like the good old days, not like the sepia toned sort but the golden ones, shining and just out of focus enough. There is one thing in particular worth mentioning about this album, because it's not really an album; rather, the 24 tracks are separate songs recorded with the idea of each being a ringtone. I didn't know this when I listened to the songs but now it feels almost wrong to have them in such an easy format. I want to receive them in the form of text message, mixed with the sound of the phones vibration on the table. Like Richter asks, "who says ringtones have to be so bad?". I would like to hear these songs for the first time as a text alert that comes with a warm text from a lover, or with good news from a friend. Imagine if everyone had such good ringtones; you'd hear this resonate from a fellow commuters pocket on the way to work and everyone would have mini epiphanies just for a second because if you take Richter's music as 'cinematic' or soundtracky (it would no doubt suit train trips really well coming through headphones) then why not take it on step further and put it out in the open just for that 1 minute and 15 seconds or so. It all reminds me of a line Dan Bejar wrote in some Destroyer song: 'What is it about music that lends itself to business as fucking usual', and while I'm not sure what it is exactly about music that makes it this way but it's certainly true, so why not push things a bit further. In exploring the perhaps seemingly intangible possibilities of symphonies and beauty via cellphone ringtones has raised various interesting questions of new medias and ways of listening and broadcasting music but the main thing I'm thinking about is whether I can get one of them as the alarm on my new phone rather than the maniacal clown hardcore that comes out of mine at MASSIVE volume. Seriously, I just about jumped out of my bed today when it went off. What's with that? Why are cellphone alarms so jerky? Sure it gets the job done - it wakes you up - but surely there's a nicer way to ease you into yr morning.

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