There’s a 2006 Irish musical film called Once, which is one of those movies that grabs hold of you and won’t let go. It’s a really simple story about a musician (Glen Hansard from The Frames) busking on the street, who meets another musician (Markéta Irglová) by chance, and they decide to record an album. The addition of her vocals and keyboard to his rough-edged vocals and guitar makes amazing chemistry. It’s a story about following your dreams, putting it all on the line, and making art.
I’ve been listening to the soundtrack in the car today. The movie is just about all soundtrack, so certain songs bring back vivid visual memories. There’s this one scene — the first in the recording studio — that either sends shivers down my spine or makes me weep every time I hear the song.
Basically, the unnamed guy and girl have gathered a couple of other musos, including a dishevelled base guitar player and a drummer, and the recording studio guy dismisses the lot of them on sight. He’s not taking them very seriously as they start to record the first track, but then as it goes on and it’s amazing, he starts to take notice. You can see the realisation dawning… he puts on his headphones, starts fiddling with the knobs, and becomes as riveted as the viewer (me!).
That moment when you know this guy has something special, that he and his motley bunch of musos are making art, is simply breathtaking. And the performance of that song — When your mind’s made up — is easily my favourite moment in the movie and my favourite song on the soundtrack.
It’s gutsy, raw, heart-felt. Art = emotion.
Here’s the song on YouTube. Unfortunately it doesn’t play as it’s seen in the movie, but you do get some scenes — I highly recommend getting hold of Once and watching the whole film!
Does music ever move you to great depths of emotion? What songs/pieces in particular?