Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
For the moments when you're truly helpless, you need something to make you feel as if there are worse things. During those moments, you need something to remind you that it's silently miraculous that you're even able to be helpless. It's a damned miracle that blood pumps and you move, can be moved, can move others. It's a damned miracle that we're filled with a bottomless jug of emotions that we can tap into and see what they'll do to us, what they'll arrange or rearrange. We're amazingly outfitted with a thousand chirping birds in our ribs that let themselves be known, that let out their peeps in chattered fits and then coast away with the day and its movable light. Whatever we find ourselves in, at any time, is merely a flirtation. It might drag on us and it might throw us into the brambles, but we must give ourselves over to something that will remind us that it is all just a flirtation - any and all of it.
The music of Olafur Arnalds is capable of reminding us of the nuances and the delicate awnings of our lives that we carelessly desensitize ourselves to. His lovingly orchestrated compositions are not what you would think of as uplifting in a defining sense, but they get you to a place where you are feeling things intensely and anytime you're able to stave off the numbness, you're doing something better than most. You're feeling something and that should give you a reason enough to rejoice. These are suspended stories of hardship and beauty - never
knowing which one gets to eat and entertain that day. It could just be a little of both. He takes out into days that cook up good winds - winds that whip at the flap of the flags hung out to dry and winds that allow cars and some of those aforementioned birds make better time.
We listen to the notes and the melodies that Arnalds puts together and they leave us where we are, feeling like we're watching our hat blow away. It was just lifted from the top of our head, by a substantial gust, and by the time we realized it, there is was a quarter of a mile away and rising, carried off to a death. We watch it as it goes and marvel at its good fortune, for a ride like that is a hell of a way to go.