The Music has to be as interesting. It has to keep taking you into places that you are at least not used toScott Walker, a celebrated American-British songwriter, singer and composer
There is no doubt in the veracity of this statement when spoken in a figurative context. Music undoubtedly has the power to elevate your emotions or even turn them around. The choice of music or song is quite subjective, hence, one song which is electrifying to someone may be dull to another. Nevertheless, none will deny the truth of this statement of Scott Walker.
Let me assert that I find music’s power to “literally” take me to different places. Yes, you heard it right, literally.
Now you must be wondering what did I hear or how did music “transport” me to places. Figuratively, the effects are unquestionable. Literally speaking, I wasn’t exactly “teleported” but yes, music did play an extremely significant role in taking me to a place where Magic rules Supreme, in line with the music it produced.
For those of you who could guess the place, cheers to you..!!
For those who couldn’t, don’t worry, I shall answer your query in a short while. Let’s rewind a little bit, after all, that’s what “prequels” do, and that’s what the theme of this article is – a prelude or a precursor to something scintillating beyond imagination – which you might have read before, or which you are about to read at the end of this article.
The cyrillic script used in the title should give a clue about the place under discussion. In case it didn’t, fret not, the place is Russia.
I have written about the Icy magnificence of Russia quite a lot of times (because it is actually magnificent if you can brave the cold). I spent my 30th Birthday amidst the Icy Cold Frigid yet Picturesque nothingness of Icy Arctic Tundra beneath the Celestial Aurora Borealis in the Frozen Arctic Beaches of Teriberka and the surrounding areas. I shall share the relevant links to those articles towards the end of this one.
But that’s all the result. What inspired the actions towards the results? Let’s try to figure the musical aspect of it in this prelude.
It all started from FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 during the months of June-July. I had thought about celebrating my 30th Birthday during December in a place where Cold knows no boundaries, but there were quite a few choices for the same (Russia included). The World Cup, in addition to giving a huge adrenaline rush, also gave me leads on this. Not travel tips, mind you. Let’s go on one by one as the scheme unfolded.
(From here, the article will contain musical videos, their description and their effects on shaping the Russian Odyssey. I would urge you to have some time in hand, like 30-35 minutes, listen to each song with earphones, reflect and read. It’s going to be akin to a slow food, a signature delicacy, which needs time and patience to cook, as well as to savour)
Artist: DJ Smash
Feat: Polina Gagarina, Egor Kreed, DJ Smash
Komanda is one of the official songs of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. In my opinion, it is dedicated to the team spirit which exists within the 11 players on the field as well as the 12th player – the supporters. The supporters also have a huge role to play in the Team’s success. Komanda in Russian means Team.
Now the travel part of it.
When I first heard the song, I felt it spoke to me. From the elementary knowledge of Russia, the evocation of team spirit was definitely evident in this song. But on top of it, if you see it or hear it closely, the message of a warm welcome or tunes of invitation become more prominent. And the voice modulation and change of pitch of Polina Gagarina is absolutely stunning. It quite spoke to me.
I felt, yes, I am a part of the Team. And I must go to them.
Artists: Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
Both Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe are highly celebrated figures in the Global Music Industry. Their music is undoubtedly electrifying and just gets one in the scene of action. I fell in love with Hans Zimmer’s music post hearing his composition in the Last Samurai. This time, his composition Living Football was selected as the Official Theme Music of FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.
What’s its relevance here? Close your eyes and hear this music, again, if you need to. Feel the build-up of the tempo and it’s sudden upheaval. This music does have the power to take one’s mind to Russia.
The electrifying music and the charged up pace of it made me dream of seeing an Icy Landscape, overlooked by the “Towers of Candy” (a childhood obsession, which goes by the name St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow), with players playing the beautiful game of football, as ice descends on them from Heavens, as viewed from the Sapsan Bullet Train.
Except the football part and the exact enactment of this dream sequence, the scenes separately did play themselves out in separate places, in Russia. Oh! What a mesmerizing beauty..!!
United by Love
Artist: Natalia Oriero
Natalia Oriero is an acclaimed Argentinian – Uruguayan actress and singer. She has also worked as an ambassador of UNICEF.
This song United by Love, made for the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, is an English/Spanish/Russian song which is quite zesty and juxtaposes the extravaganza of the World Cup with the vibrant ambiance of Russia.
I like the sudden elevation of pace. For me it did elevate the Dream or Мечта, from a sub-conscious level or a mere passing thought to a full fledged action plan.
I liked the imagery of the Ice falling on Towers of Candy, which graduated from being confined to a crystal decoration to a reality.
Reality. The word has a meaning, which needs to be enforced.
Reality can be what I wantThanos (Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War movie)
Thanos was right. The Towers of Candy with Icing on them. This is the reality I wanted. This was the reality shown. This was the reality imagined since so many years.
Now this is the Reality which had to be Lived.
Poehali (Let’s Go). This was the first Russian word I learnt, thanks to the given song. Now to live the Thanos scale reality, I needed to know more Russian. Hence, started studying Russian, bit by bit, everyday, months before applying for the visa. Поехали..
Artist: Polina Gagarina
I am so awed by Polina Gagarina’s incredible ability to change the pitch or frequency so seamlessly and at will, which feels as if she controls the acoustics. Anyways, Obezoruzhena in Russian means surrender.
Some bits and pieces of the lyrics is understandable as it contains English like words with the same meaning (Eg. Secret).
Though this song might have been meant to be a sad and emotional song depicting want or an eager call for some loved one, for me, this song meant this: Surrender yourself to the reality of the land of Magic – Russia. And I need it, I need it, I need it. The lyrics can’t be more literal.
The wheels were thus set into motion. Apart from linguistic knowledge, extensive research was also being carried out for the Russian Arctic, which would be the heart of my dream turned to reality.
And by the way, Telestar Мечта was the Official Football of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Мечта means Dream. With so many alignments in place, Мечта had to get real.
Artist: Polina Gagarina
Movie: Battle for Sevastopol
Of the many singers I have heard so far, Polina Gagarina unquestionably has the power to take you to places with her voice. Kukushka means Cuckoo. This song was set for the movie Battle for Sevastopol, which is a period film based on the Siege of Sevastopol during World War II and it’s liberation from Nazi German occupation.
The notes and pitch of Polina Gagarina are as always astounding. It’s very hard to explain the level of modulation she can do simply by herself, with negligible digital aids.
The World War II in the Russian front was also marked by severe cold – one which is perhaps the hallmark of Russia, and which has repelled all of it’s enemies.
Sevastopol itself is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, but the theme, the notes of this song and my personal preference (I am a Chionophile) set my mental compass literally towards the Northern direction – The Russian Arctic, where Cold and Ice know no limits. Harsh Cold was the reality there. So was impeccable beauty. And such a reality do I want.
Vot Tak (Like That). Thanos may snap his fingers to get the reality he wants, but for me, the finger snap is a little more than that (as it involves tremendous preparations)
Music indeed has the power to transport one to places.
These and more songs and instrumental music did play a huge role towards fruition of my Russian Odyssey. The mechanism, the feeling is just surreal and inexplicable. To me, these songs solidified many of the images in mind, created “Whole New Worlds” of breathtaking mise-en-scenes and convinced me that those realities are very much achievable.
Surprisingly though, when the clock struck 00:00 hours Midnight during December 5, 2018, I was literally devoid of thoughts, music, speech or any other thing. It was my birthday, yes. It was my 30th Birthday, yes again. It was the manifestation of my dreams or visions turning into Thanos-esque reality, yes. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine celebrating this Birthday beneath the Celestial Auroral curtains..!! What a spectacle..!! What a moment..!! What a reality..!! It felt as if everything came to a full circle. I did cherish those moments, free from thoughts, just glaring at the greatest light show on Earth amidst vast stretches of Icy nothingness, letting the gifts of Nature soak in. What a beautiful country..!!
After one Мечта comes another….
Artist: Polina Gagarina
Among all the performances of Polina Gagarina, this is the Best so far.
The voice modulation is perhaps the epitome of modulation anyone has ever reached. It feels as if I am listening to a fast paced electrifying song with the pitch of Opera.
The image of opera connects me to Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow. And the name “Melancholia” seems to be a misnomer in my opinion – the energy surge and the tempo of this song is nowhere close to Melancholia. It feels rather close to another Мечта, another reality to be lived….
вот так . Finger snap..
In the beginning of this article, I did promise to share the links of the articles in the Мечта series I wrote so far, for better understanding. Here they are. Hope you enjoyed this “slow” and “long” read and hope your patience paid off, akin to savouring a slow food or delicacy. Your views are always welcome and appreciated..!!
General Information and Tips: МЕЧТА: THE QUEST TO LIVE THE DREAMS (PART -3)
© Abirbhav Mukherjee. The videos in this article are not mine.
PS: The reference to Finger Snap is from Thanos’ snapping of his fingers with 6 Infinity Stones to get his wish and reality in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame movies of Marvel Studios.