Desert Island People and Places
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Ayden Hector : Desert Island People and Places

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Working from home.

I’ve been forced into an eternal domestic office. Freelancing from home often means shackled to the desk for 10 hours a day with little human contact than the on-going notifications from social media sites I subscribed to long ago. 

Originally, the freelance bliss was so that one could simply carry their laptop across town to a coffee shop and create new workspaces to suit the whim of the day. 

Thanks to a global pandemic and the encroaching complexity of the situation, any sense of public space and its occupancy has been eroded and forced the freelancer back to the confines of the teenage theatre that is the bedroom studio/office/other.

Podcasts and headspaces

Podcasts create the perfect ambiance of a safe private domesticated space. Thank god for Podcasts. Despite the maddening effects of long term isolation of working from home, the comfort of podcasts can sometimes feel like working amongst friends as they discuss their ideas. It’s a synthetic means of feeling among people you know. So when I checked into the brilliant Ayden Hector podcast last week, his own version of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs made for a comforting familiarity of late night weekends working on coursework in my bedroom.

Personal Paradise

Hector’s personal paradise of his three favorite recordings presented a welcome break from work. Naturally my thoughts went to work on what my own desert islands disks might be. Enjoying where my thoughts took me, it was the memory of a time that I heard the recorded music. Since our memories play like scenes from a film and old friends, actors on our life stage, I only had to think of someone and within seconds a song would come through.

To this end, it wasn’t the music I was taking to the island, but the person or the place.  A personal paradise of my favorite person, place or time. These are my 5 favorite moments crystallized in a recording.

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

My ex-girlfriend Lucy. Dearly a friend of spiritual depth and wonder. Her memory forever locked into the opera that makes this concept album. Plastic Beach alludes genre since it features such a variety of performers. It can be used as a party album or something to sit back and sink your thoughts into. In many ways, Lucy’s personalities are embedded in the track listing. ‘On Melancholy Hill’ features the sad and childlike footsteps across the keys of a synth that harks back to her gentle naivety and forever young outlook.

Tricky, Maxinquaye

Bristol was a city in my mind before it was the playground of my youth. Incantations of sad city moods, the production of classic record samplings and distinct rasp of Tricky’s vocal musings made for an atmosphere that is a certain familiar British weekend of poor weather and indoor comforts. Strangely comforting, the album reminds me of having guests around who said little but where comfortable to be in each other’s company.

Burial – Untrue

Burial’s underground classic ambiance found its highest crest of genius on Untrue. Harking back to a moment in London, a rainy walk alongside a canal in Hackney with the foreboding sense of threat that comes from dark city streets and a comforting sense of angst, it was a time of uncertainty and new experiences. That feeling embodies what life can be in its purest sense. The wonder, the fear and moment you realize the present is perfect.

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