Friday, May 27, 2011

Nathan's Theme

Inspired by recent discussion at Books, Bones, Bricks, and Bullets, I began to wonder, If the world was covered in invisible speakers, what would they play when I entered a room?

To be honest, this wouldn't be the first time I've had such thoughts.  On the old blog, I once proposed an idea to create a "life soundtrack," with the intention of assigning theme music to personal activities, places, situations, and family and friends.  (At least one reader took the challenge, but I didn't follow through myself.  Maybe someday.)  But this time it's different.  It's just my own theme music--describing Nathan alone. 

So, when Nathan enters a room, what do we hear?

At the start of this quest, I had to make one thing clear with myself: favorite music and theme music won't necessarily be the same.  I have plenty of favorite songs that I would love to have playing as I go about my daily business, but at best, each of them perhaps only captures one tiny facet of my personality.  One song might work great for when I'm happy, another when I'm sad, and yet another when I'm struggling to get up in the morning.  That's part of why they're my favorite songs: they take how I'm feeling in a particular moment and magnify that emotion.  But for my personal entrance theme, I want something that covers all the bases and illustrates "Nathan in general."

The second rule I set for myself was realism.  In other words, as awesome as the epic stuff is, I am not a ninja or a pirate, nor do I frequently lead armies into battle (as far as I remember, that's only happened once).  So, the sweeping melodies of Braveheart or The Lord of the Rings most likely aren't going to fit who I am and how I live.

Third rule: my theme must get to the point as soon as I enter the room.  Lots of great songs make the listener wait for the main event.  They start out quiet, then gradually build and build until bam!, you're face-to-face with an organ-playing octopus!  Here's the thing, though: when you enter a room, do you say "I'm coming, just stuck in traffic right now," or do you say, "I'm here!  And I brought drinks!"?  When those speakers start announcing my presence, I'm too busy saying hi to people to remind them that I'm not actually supposed to be there until the sick guitar solo at 3:18.

So, general, realistic, and to the point.  And the winner is. . . .

Barret's Theme
Nobuo Uematsu

For those of you who have played Final Fantasy VII or know Barret's character at all, take note that I do not compare myself to Barret.  Simply remove the song from the context of the game, and I think it can actually do pretty well at announcing, "Hey, Nathan's here!"  It doesn't go in depth describing who I am, but it gets the general point across quickly, which is what entrance music should do for a person. 

To me, this song in particular paints a picture of a well-rounded person.  It can effectively say both "Let's get to work" and "We've worked hard; let's go have some fun."  It's a little rough around the edges, yet civilized and friendly.  It describes someone who enjoys a good adventure, but doesn't mind staying home now and then, either.  It's active, but not rowdy; strong, yet sociable; intelligent, yet down to earth.  I like it.

What would you choose as your own entrance music?  Do you think mine fits, or would you pick something different for me?

One thing's for sure: the next party I go to, I'll be playing this song in my head when I get there.


olde.fashioned said...

A certain someone has been nagging me to come up with a theme song of my own, lol!

Your choice definitely fits you; you already listed the reasons, so you already know why. ;)

The Warrior said...

Friggin' awesome post! What's so funny is that most of what you wrote there is the same stuff that's been going through my head the past few days, trying to select entrance music....


Jonas said...

That's neat, you're always there to bring in some sense when Spencer and I go wild ;)

If I were to follow you and pick a more serious one I think this might be it though:

There's still a bit of a heavy and almost fore-boding feel to it, to satisfy my sense of drama, but quite calm and peaceful, and with beautiful and hopeful lyrics (goes something like "the darkness of the night isn't dark to you, God, the night spreads liight like the day"). It's also a song that I have quite strong personal connections to, and one that I always choose when I lead morning prayers at my local church.

(I could still use the one I posted over at Spencer's at times though ;))

Nathan said...

Wow, that's a very beautiful song, Jonas! I'm gonna have to download that one--I like it a lot. :D

(And hey, nothing wrong with the other one you posted, either. ;-D )

The Warrior said...

Heheheh...Spencer goes wild. Sounds like a TV show! Woot!

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