Wednesday, February 25, 2015

incidental music spot of the day

More Sigur Rós, this time during the opening moments of The Living Mountain: A Cairngorms Journey on BBC Four earlier this evening. Remarkably I was able to pinpoint this one rather more exactly than here, as it's one of their most memorable tunes. I still can't tell you what it's called, as it doesn't officially have a title (unofficially it's called Njósnavélin), but it's the fourth track on their 2002 "brackets" album.

The program itself was an interesting celebration (by travel writer Robert Macfarlane) of the little-known book The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, written in the 1940s but not published until 1977. Not a book I was previously familiar with, but it sounds fascinating from the snippets available to read at the Amazon link. That's not to say I agree unreservedly with all the sentiments expressed in the programme - as much as I advocate and encourage a bit of wandering about, smelling the flowers and looking at the scenery I can't really get behind an approach that "abandons the summit as the organising principle of a mountain". If I'm going up a mountain then the focal point of the day is standing on top of it, whatever other delights might be experienced on the way up and down. No doubt this is reflective of some patriarchal notions of conquest in my irredeemable male psyche, and makes me some sort of nature rapist. Oh well.

So on the one hand some of it sounds a bit hello clouds hello sky for my taste; on the other hand nobody who loves mountains would deny that there's a sort of transcendent thing going on when you're standing on a lofty peak on a clear day with no-one else for miles around. This in turn is probably reflective of some profound misanthropy on my part, something I'll cop to without any protest at all.

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