Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Philosphy of the "Morning Mix"

Call it one of my quirks, but for some reason I get a kick out of waking up to the same songs every morning. In the Fall of 2001, I purchased an alarm clock with a CD player and burned one CD. At the time, my hope was to see if I could wake up to that same CD for at least two semesters. I didn't really put an amazing amount of thought in picking and choosing the songs, I just dragged a bunch of tracks onto a CD. I chose the following songs:

  1. Gary Jules - Mad World
  2. Prefuse 73 - Back in Time
  3. Broken Social Scene - Anthems for a 17 Year Old Girl
  4. Broken Social Scene - Almost Crimes
  5. Broken Social Scene - Stars and Sons
  6. The White Strips - Death Letter
  7. (mystery non-vocal track I can't remember but might be Badly Drawn Boy)
  8. Beck - The Golden Age
  9. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals - The Three of Us
  10. Carlos Santana - Treat
  11. Coldplay - The Scientist
  12. Gavin Friday and Mauric Seezer - The Boxer (Finale)

Well, it's 2007 and I've still got the same CD in my alarm clock. It has actually been the source of increasing wonder (and ridicule) in my house. What raises eybrows is the first song by Gary Jules, which my friends insist is one of the most depressing songs they have ever heard. They can't imagine how I wake up to it each morning, especially when it is one of the final tracks in the movie "Donnie Darko."

    I wonder if its my choice to habitually start my morning with a depressing song that worries my friends or if its the fact that I've woken up to the same tracks for such a long period of time--or both. Am I crazy? What is it about this CD, generically titled the "Morning Mix," that is so appealing to me?

    The "Morning Mix" is pure spontaneous expression suspended in time. And there is a profound joy that comes with being able to revisit that moment. I'm going to try to explain that and I warn you that this will get a bit dense.

    Though it happens a little less frequently now, I used to not be able to sleep one or two days out of the week because I frequently had bouts of an insomnia-like condition. And after I'd have been up all night living the second life, I'd hear my alarm clock go off. I knew of course that for everyone else in the world, tomorrow had arrived. But for me, yesterday was never quite finished.

    Figuratively and literally, I live using both the solar and lunar calendars, though neither seems to be very effective in 'keeping' time for me. Time, unfortunately, bends and dissolves around me. So what better (or more ironic) a device to celebrate this detachment from time than an alarm clock?

    The alarm clock--and the songs captured on CD--allows me to revisit a familiar space each morning and recreate that moment of 'being' in two days at once. The alarm clock is a decidedly final object, one that tells you an awful lot about your reality. The alarm clock is my gateway to ontology.

    Personally, I think the idea of a "Morning Mix" is refreshing considering we live in a culture where we're bombarded with new media. Put it this way, I have approximately 70,000 individual songs on my computer. If I wanted to listen to a different track every morning, I could sustain that for just under 192 years. Thus, I find a serenity in purposefully bounding my reality.

    I'm not sure if its time to retire the original "Morning Mix." I may try to keep the original going until 2010, and then make a new mix for the following decade. Do you think I'm crazy? Does any of this make sense? Any suggestions on tracks?


    RLB said...

    You must be a creature of habit. I haven't got as long a record as you, but I've listened to the very best of Prince every morning since May 2006. If it suits you there's no need to change it!

    Anonymous said...

    brilliant post. vintage assad.

    Anonymous said...

    how often do you change the tracks on the cd?

    Anonymous said...

    sonny and cher - i got you babe
    nirvana - rape me
    the strokes - someday

    A.H. Rajani said...

    sonny and cher -- definitely a good choice. i may consider that one. and i really like the strokes song. that can be my pick me up song.

    with my existing CD, i usually cycle between two or three of the songs only every few months. most of the songs i don't really listen to.

    Anonymous said...

    the shins - new slang