by Emily Brownsey
Each person I interview is encouraged to share 5-6 tracks that represent a memorable time in their lives, they’re not necessarily their favourite songs. This gives me an opportunity to share new tunes, and introduce someone you may not know by giving a special insight into their life in music. Our second guest is ASW senior, Jan Żyndul.
- Waking Up – Explosions in the Sky
This is the song that made me change the way I look at everything. I know that you should look at everything from multiple angles to form a good opinion, but I never really took that to heart until I heard this song. The first time I heard it was when I was watching one of my favourite movies, Lone Survivor. In the second scene of the film, you see wonderful landscape shots of the mountains and deserts in Afghanistan, and this piece accompanies it wonderfully. It shows Afghanistan from a geographic perspective, what the terrain looks like at sunrise, and how beautiful it is. This is something that Marcus Luttrell (The author of the book that the movie was based on) had mentioned both in the book and interviews. So it makes sense that as we see beautiful shots of the countryside in Afghanistan the music we hear is just as calming, because that’s what the beauty makes you feel inside. This piece isn’t just great for the movie soundtrack, I found it great for running, working and honestly anything.
- Waking the Demon – Bullet for my Valentine
This is the odd one on my list. This is a Metalcore song and the story associated with it goes back to my middle school and elementary days. I listened to this song to deal with my insecurities, whether it was getting bullied or something I couldn’t deal with. This song helped me cope with that to an extent. It relieved me of stress. I would shake my head, lipsync, air guitar, and do all sorts of things just to get out all the negative energy. The song also goes one to one with the music video for me. A boy getting picked on in school standing up for himself is the best way to summarise it. I suggest that you check it out and if you don’t like the music just mute it and watch the video. And even though I abandoned this music in middle school, recently with IB and all the stress I’ve had to deal with I found it to be therapeutic.
- Heroes – Peter Gabriel
It’s back to Lone Survivor, this time we’re at the end of the film. Spoiler alert, the movie doesn’t end well for most of the characters, but then again you can guess that by the title. This song, works as a reminder for me that even if I think I’m having the worst day of my life, I flashback to what some people had to go through and my day seems like nothing at all. This song, despite being calm and steady doesn’t really calm me down. It reminds me to get up, keep fighting, and never give up. “Never out of the fight” are the words from the movie that ring in my ears when I hear this song. If you give up, you’ve already lost. As as long as you keep fighting, you still have a chance. Thats a good way to sum up the way this song makes me feel, it reminds me that what makes a hero is a mind set. If you don’t approach things the way a hero would don’t expect to be one. Now whether that’s what David Bowie wanted to originally show through this song – I don’t know, but this is the beautiful thing about music. This is Peter Gabriel’s cover of it, and in the context of Lone Survivor this is what I feel. This song opened my eyes up to the fact that even people we view as incredible, immortal, expendable or whatever, didn’t get there without a struggle.
- Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
Not sure if everyone is the same but I can definitely remember the first music video I saw, and that is Green Day’s “Wake me up when September ends”. I owe a huge creative debt to this song. It introduced me to the idea that songs actually have ideas and meaning behind them they don’t just sound nice (I was young when I watched it so this was a huge revelation to me). From then on, whenever I listened to a song with lyrics I could comprehend, I would create my own music video in my head. The title itself makes me just think that anytime I’m in stress, I should just try to hold on until it’s over. So again, music acts as a form of therapy for me.
- Ennio Morricone – The Funeral
Now this is the song that I directly associate with the Military. As many people in school know, the Military means a lot to me and I definitely want to do anything I can to join. This song plays during the end credits of American Sniper. It reminds me that even though the Military might seem like a great experience, it always carries weight with it. “The Funeral” made me realise that I can get so caught up in the idea of fighting for people and trying to protect them, that I am too blind to notice that I should also consider how much I am sacrificing when I make that decision. There are consequences to everything you do, and that doesn’t mean that they are there to stop you, it just means that you have to accept them if you really want to go through with something.
Unfortunately, Peter Gabriels version of “Heroes” isn’t on Spotify so I linked it here.
… and If you want to take a listen to the rest of Jans’s tunes, check out this Spotify playlist from aswtunes: