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“When Your Mind’s Made Up”

For our fifth wedding anniversary back in September we pulled out all the stops and went out to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants and saw a movie. The movie playing at our local uniplex was “Once,” which friends of Anne had highly recommended, although neither of us knew the slightest thing about it. It’s funny, because we had been thinking of going to Ireland for our anniversary, and we did, sort of. “Once” is the story of an Irish busker (Glen Hansard of The Frames) who meets an immigrant singer and pianist (Markéta Irglová), who inspires him to get a band together, and, with money borrowed from his surprisingly sympathetic father, record a demo CD of his songs. There was so much I liked about this movie: its unpretentious scope, its emotional honesty, and its authentic portrayal of musical collaboration and performance.

I wanted to share one of my favorite scenes at the time, but didn’t think I could do it justice without some audio/visual aids. Then Anne discovered some clips on YouTube and problem solved. My favorite moment occurs at the recording studio during the first take of “When Your Mind’s Made Up.” Glen calls for silence, and the take begins. With the music underway, the jaded recording engineer turns away from the mixing board, sighs, and unfolds his newspaper, thinking these were just another lot of talentless dreamers wasting their money. Another boring day at the office. The track slowly gathers momentum, however, and then at 1:17 (-2:34), the drums enter and suddenly lock the song into a deep groove as unstoppable as a freight train.1 Those drums are what make the engineer put down his paper and pay attention. Just sayin’. By the end of the track, I've forgotten all about the drums because my hair is standing on end and I have a lump in my throat, but still that drum entrance marked the turning point.

1 Please ignore the AIM alert. :-)



Congratulations to you two! On both the five year mark and the movie choice. I enjoyed Once tremendously, and though I hadn't identified the drums as a key to the song, I love the way the momentum of the song builds.

Just wondering, have you picked up the soundtrack to the film yet?

Howard, thanks! Not sure whether I'll get the soundtrack or DVD, which will be released later this month. (The soundtrack is only available as an "album" in iTunes.) Actually I am interested in exploring Frames stuff.

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