Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Music: Keep or Cull No.11: Aphex Twin - DrukQs (2001)

Music is really important to me, almost to the point where I think I attach a kind of sacred value to it. When music is cheapened, it bothers me. When a song I love becomes the soundtrack to an advert, it bothers me. ‘Which Will’ by Nick Drake is an astonishingly beautiful piece of music, with its meaning punctuated by the knowledge of Drake’s death shortly after recording it, has for me been tainted by its use on a mobile phone commercial.

On 24th July, 2009, I got married. We were married in Cumbria, at a lovely hotel in Penrith, and one of the main things I was in charge of was the music. We had a covers band play at the night reception, they specialised in indie, rock and 60s covers. The keyboard player from the band DJed under the strict stipulation there would be no Abba, no Grease Medley, and no Robbie Williams. But my main concern was with the music for the actual ceremony, and the bit afterwards where we signed the register. This was difficult: I needed music that captured the gravity of the day; music that my wife and I could both agree upon; and most importantly of all, I didn’t want to be music from an advert. This last point might sound a bit strange, but it really was a concern of mine. I’d attended a wedding the year before that had used the music from a Lloyds TSB advert. The piece of music, taken in isolation is really nice piece of music, but as I was watching the wedding party make their way down the aisle, all I could think about was the Lloyds TSB advert.

I must have listened to hundreds of pieces of music to try and capture the perfect feeling, but I always had the niggling thought in the back of my mind: what if some mobile phone company uses it and ruins it for me? So, I decided to compose a short piece of music just so there would be no chance in the world that the music could be ruined. For two days I isolated myself and wrote a piece of music that I felt would be perfect for our wedding. I am currently in negations with Vodaphone to have the music help sell phones... I kid.

Further to the actual wedding music, we had to choose songs for signing the register, and exiting. We had Primal Scream’s ‘Come Together’ and Pixies’ ‘Gigantic’ for exit music. For signing the register we had Rachmaninov’s ‘Theme on Paganini’, Yann Tiersen’s ‘Comptine d'un autre été: L'après midi’ and Aphex Twin’s ‘Avril 14th’ – all stunning pieces of piano music. Shortly after the wedding, both ‘Come Together’ and ‘Avril 14th’ featured in adverts, but at least the music for the ceremony can never be tainted. ...

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