Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Anmar (Denmark) – Vindueskigger (Window gazer) single

Anmar has visited us twice before and always offers well constructed thoughtful pieces of music, out of which you can gain great satisfaction without understanding a word she’s singing.

The idea behind ‘Vindueskigger’ which translates as window gazer, is that it takes you on a sonic journey through a night in the city centre, “where both solitude and presence are reflected in the same window.”

I reckon many British readers would immediately associate window gazing to mean window shopping, at which we are World Champions but I see immediately what she’s getting at.

Perhaps it’s my narcissism but I’ve often found myself staring at my own image in a shop window, wondering why my beer gut got bigger when I’ve been on the wagon.

At the same time it has dawned on me that what she says here is quite accurate. You can see yourself and thereby confirm your own continuing existence, your singularity or whatever you might want to call it.

But at the same time you can see that every man is indeed an island, contrary to what John Donne says because you observe in the window that every person who passes you is not even aware of your existence; indeed only of their own.

And that philosophy is all the more apparent when you get older. As Alexei Sayle observed in one of his excellent short stories, once you reach a certain age you become invisible to the young. You count for nothing because they no longer want to f*** you. You have ceased to exist.

However, there is still merit in isolation and in the song she says she is “sending a loving greeting to the time spent in one’s own company.” That is voluntary isolation, temporary separation from society onto its periphery and it is not the same thing as loneliness, in which you are permanently excluded from it.

So the NMC acid test applies. Is she able to convey that scenario of selected isolation to me, bearing in mind I don’t know what she is singing about, precisely?

Well yes, and the way she does it is partly through the use of the repeating five notes, which might be what the aliens send us in Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind and which are consistent from beginning to end. This introduces a peripatetic feel to it suggestive of wandering around city blocks, crossing junctions with the aid of sonic assistance.

Meanwhile she slips in all manner of recorded ‘noises off’ that are indicative of the plethora of random sounds that one would expect to encounter on such a journey, be they from cars, buses, skateboards, conversations, laughter and arguments.

Perhaps I’m overly examining the piece but I can say for sure that Anmar excels at creating this sort of atmosphere as we have experienced in her previous work.

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