Space and Place in Music

 

Our editors take us on a journey into the albums that transport them to a special place. Read more in Issue 2: Space and Place!

 

Bulletproof Picasso (2014)

Train

I have been a fan of the band Train for years yet I have never been so attached to any of their albums. You rarely see any album names that directly refer to art, therefore, ‘Bulletproof Picasso’ really caught my eye. The album is supposed to be pop rock genre, although it’s more pop than rock, which I personally have no problems with. None of the songs are ‘go crazy’, ‘dance in your room like no one is watching’ worthy which is what I normally listen to, yet even I love every song in this album to bits: this is because it makes me feel different. Songs like ‘Angel in Blue Jeans’ and ‘Bulletproof Picasso’ relax me, make me lie down with my legs up on the wall, close my eyes and listen. While listening I drift away into the world where every emotion is valid, where you can think and feel anything you want. As funny as it sounds, it inspires me to live a fulfilling, versatile life. To be honest, I could blab random things about this album that probably do not make sense to anybody but you really have to listen to understand and even develop your own thoughts and feelings about this album.

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All in the Mind

In 1945, Jimmie G. was nineteen years old. He had his whole life ahead of him – the Second World War had just ended and Jimmie had his choice of what to do now. He could stay in the navy, where he had been thriving since he was conscripted at seventeen and keep working as a radio operator, or go to college. Years of peace stretched out ahead of him and Jimmie felt optimistic. He was young, bright, charming, totally in control of his future and flushed with the thrill of being part of a historic victory at such a young age. For now, though, he was talking to a doctor, although he wasn’t quite sure about what. But when the doctor held up a mirror, Jimmie’s easy confidence and light-hearted manner dissipated – what he saw was not a teenager, but the face of a man in his late forties, still handsome, but most definitely old, distinctly old. Jimmie was not dreaming, not in a nightmare. He was, in fact, forty-nine years old and it was 1975, and he was in the office of neurologist Oliver Sacks. Jimmie G. had severe amnesia. He remembered the events up to the year 1945 with exceptional clarity, but the rest of his life was a total blank, dissolved in the deep recesses of his mind. He was almost completely incapable of forming new memories, although occasionally he could recall recent events in a hazy way. Unable to remember his experiences of the present, Jimmie’s mind had latched on to what it could remember – his past – and created its image around him, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Jimmie was living in a world of his mind’s creation – something that, though it sounds extraordinary, is not at all unusual.

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Keep Moving

Picture of a beach

Sometimes I think my favourite part of travelling is the spaces in between; the downtime, the long, sleepy train rides watching a place completely new to you crawl by your window, or absentmindedly taking photos through the window of the bus. The parts that are less often recorded in the travel diaries and gloss pictures, the time in between the iconic sights and photo-ops, the liminal spaces of the bus station or the airport can in some ways be the most memorable, the most quietly affecting. Over the last few years, whenever I’ve had the chance to travel, I’ve come back with countless photos, that have taken me hours to sort through, and often my favourites aren’t of the landmarks or of the breath-taking landscapes, as exciting as they are, but of the little details; the kind that just caught my eye for a second, or that I forgot the first time around. Here, I have collected a few of the pictures that really take me back to the places I’ve been.

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Space Age

The 1920s had the flapper; post-WWII saw the rise of Christian Dior’s New Look, but when it comes to novelty, it seems that the 1960s win the ‘otherworldly’ prize with the emerge of Space Age fashion. With the Cold War in full swing, the beginning of the 60s carried with it a strong futuristic spirit; people wanted to reach for the stars, and for the first time in history this was not just a possibility, but a certainty. Though space travel was hardly an innovative idea (one look at George Méliès’s 1902 film A Trip to the Moon will tell you differently), all at once it seemed accessible, and as politics reached new heights, the arts scene was quick to follow.

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Sex and the University: The Lobster Effect

The new year has arrived, and some of our old leaves are back to where they were before as our New Year’s resolutions have fluttered away – much like our hearts with the anticipation or dread of Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a relationship, single, or seeing multiple people, you will all be aware of the many obligations that Valentine’s Day brings. Even the couples who say “we don’t do anything special, we just treat it as a normal day” are very much aware of the retail frenzy the day brings. If you somehow forget the date you’ll inevitably hear about it via friends, or through the Sky Movie selection. Or you can just look outside and see it on the streets, plastered on walls of shops, countless red hearts brushing against one another on banners. Basically, there is no escape.

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A Very Single Valentine’s Day

          As we shuffle through the months, leaving behind the bleakness of January, February arrives as a pleasing reprieve, somewhere between the icy beauty of winter and the greening optimism of spring. And yet, with all this potential for hope, with some resolutions still withstanding, in the middle of the month we come to a crossroads, that splits heads, hearts, and directions. Yes, that ol’ 14th February junction, with St. Valentine as the guardian of the crossroads, clad every hue of pink and red you ever thought possible. Valentine’s Day causes much division, many debating origin, practices, worth, and value. In the end, it partly comes down to this: partnered, or single. While those partnered whine over prices, last minute gifts, and forgetting to make dinner reservations, we, the loveless, the nuns and the monks, the maiden aunts and bachelor uncles, are faced with two options, two pathways, not strewn with rose petals to choose from. For us single people, Valentine’s Day has two possibilities: self-love or self-pity.

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Why is Climate change such a politicised issue in the US?

Year after year records have been broken for global average temperatures: without a doubt, climate change is well underway. The scientific consensus is clear – 97% of climate scientists agree that contemporary global warming is caused by humans. If only this clarity could be said about the politics of climate change.

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