Friday, November 25, 2011

NaBloPoMo 17: Life-changing Music

Prompt: Write about a piece of music that changed your life forever. 

I can think of two artists, in general, that made a huge impact on my life. But let me say (as if I haven't said it enough) that music changes my life on a daily basis. Er, what I mean to say is that music is a consistent source of positivity. I wake up to it. I fall asleep to it. I write to it. I write it, read it, study it. Of course, I don't love it enough to play guitar four hours a day, but I do love it enough to listen to it for at least four hours a day. And I don't just mean on the radio, or in the stores downtown. I mean purposeful, headphones or at-home listening.

Ok. Back to answering the prompt.

1) Once starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

These two artists are made of pure genius. Glen is from Ireland, and Marketa is from the Czech Republic, I believe. Glen is in another band, but (correct me if I'm wrong, world) when the two started collaborating/dating, they were asked to star in their friend's movie. It was no big deal. Shot on a camcorder. No one was a professional actor. Won an Emmy.

Changed my life. I went to see it with a friend the summer after I finished high school. It was showing in the theatre downtown reserved for indie movies, and everything about the movie blew me away. It wasn't melodramatic, but it made me cry. The two main characters were never even named. I remember the exact moment I fell in love with the movie. Right here:

This song is amazing, but it's even better watching it within the context of the movie. The scene never fails to give me shivers. My friend and I left the theater and immediately headed to the nearest store to purchase the soundtrack, which was co-written and performed by Glen and Marketa. Then we spent the night talking about life and listening to the CD on repeat.

Some of my best memories are belting it out to this song in harmony with my platonic other half as we road trip. Good times. I started getting into alternative music as a result of this movie, and I can say it's one of the best decisions I ever made. Iron and Wine, Fine Frenzy, Ingrid Michaelson, etc. Oh, they're all amazing.

2) Julia Nunes, YouTube sensation

I stumbled on her after watching a clip of her guest appearance on College Humor. It was funny, and they sang Chumbawumba, so I obviously had to watch. Then I listened to some of her covers. I thought she was ok. Then I heard this song:

Oh my god, I can't even explain how wonderful this song is. It connected to what I was writing at the time, which was creepy in the best way possible. But more than that, it felt right. Everything from the lyrics to the melody to the rhythm amazing. Her voice is so unique and lovely. The song above is my favorite by her, and in a tie with Ingrid Michaelson's "The Chain" and Ghost's "Welcome Home" for my favorite song ever. I love how deceptively cheerful it is.

Anyways, Julia also led me into a shift in my music preferences. I started listening to Amanda Palmer, Anais Mitchell, and other people, especially YouTube artists. I also learned the song on guitar. It's my absolute favorite song to sing, even though I know I'll never do it as well as her. Her unabashed singing helped me to gain confidence in my own voice, and I also felt enabled to write original music after listening to her beautiful lyrics.

Anyways, yeah. Julia Nunes and Once. Check 'em out.

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