Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Joanne Harris and Radiohead, random

(A disclaimer: I have no in-depth knowledge of either Joanne Harris or Radiohead.)

I listened to the rebroadcast Diane Rehm's interview of Joanne Harris on January 4, 2009. I have not read Harris' Chocolat (though the movie is quite good), and I know little about the author. But I listened anyway -- on the little radio in the bathroom while a took a shower.

A pair of red shoes figure in Harris' new novel, The Girl with No Shadow, a sequel to Chocolat. Rehm asks why a love of shoes and chocolate is associated with women. Harris answers that both are associated with magic, transformation (which does not quite address the woman connection, but anyway...). I especially liked how she described an irrational shoe-associated belief: if she could find the perfect pair of shoes, she would be transformed. I cannot remember her exact words. But I definitely recognized the idea. I am always on a shoe search. I think the perfect pair of shoes would perfect me, or my look -- so I suppose I understand that irrational belief.

I listened to another rebroadcast of a Radiohead interview on Sound Opinions on December 26, 2008 (as a podcast -- the show is not, as far as I know, broadcast on a local public radio station). I have enjoyed some Radiohead tunes, but I am no expert on the band. But I listened to the entire interview while I did a spinning routine (on a stationary bike, you know...)

Discussing how they record songs in the studio, the band members explained that they record a song, playing together, once (they may even videotape the performance). They don't listen to it until much later -- maybe months later -- and then they can rework it. This is instead of playing it piece by piece, working on one song for days or weeks in the studio, until it is perfected (there's that "perfected" theme again). They said the latter method makes them lose all perspective. The former gives perspective and helps them work together and see the big picture. Again, while I can't remember their exact words, I recognized this way of working -- similar to how I write. I put a bunch of stuff (ah, "bunch of stuff" -- eloquent) down -- often messy -- then polish later when I have had some time away.

These are my random thoughts for the day. Have a good night.

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