Shevek (shevek) wrote,

The "theme tune for life" idea reminded me of a comment I made during the last gig in Belfast. I DJ'd for 10 days in the main room, plus one party, and at the end of each gig, I play a track for myself. It changes over time, but generally I have a track which I'm very attached to. This time, it was The Noose by A Perfect Circle, and I was surprised by the number of people who asked me what it was. I'm a little wary of telling people why I have the relationship with music that I do, it seems like giving too much away. It would be very easy to make some ironic (see "emo") choice which describes how I feel, but has no meaning for me, but my personal music has always been about sound, not lyrics. Hints: APC, Ivoux, Zeraphine, ...

I had to disabuse several people of the notion that since I was DJing, I was playing music that I liked. Entertaining an audience like that (84+ countries, 20+ languages, ages 7-70) has little to do with my personal style, and more to do with finding common culture and points of reference, and keeping the style varied. There is probably no track that everybody will like, but if everybody likes half the music, my job is done. In all of that equation, I don't really get a vote, until the last track, at which point everybody else can go get jammed.

Some tracks which got a relatively universal response in Belfast were: Marilyn Manson, Abba, Dream Theater(!), The Imperial March, Danse Macabre, Man with Harmonica (A440), some Elvis, Metallica, Green Day and so forth - an unsurprisingly wide mix, although I suspect the response to many tracks depended very much on the context (of the fight) in which they were played. Of the groups of people (competitors, coaches, referees, senior organisers), anything which crossed the boundaries was also good. I wasn't really surprised either to find that a lot of the stuff which is basically in-the-bank for parties did not cross these boundaries - to my ear many of these tracks have always been relatively unappealing, and given that at least 75% of the audience will have no personal association with any track, simple musicality was often key.

The sound system managed to fill the hall nicely with sound without it sounding muddy at the far end, even though it was a (dreaded) stone sports hall - largest arena I've run it in so far. My other victory was getting the vocal mics on the arena floor loud and clear without using a feedback destroyer or a delay line - just 2.5db of adjustment on the parametrics on the desk, and we could drive a ring of PS8s in the truss overhead at 0dB. Saving up for a top end speaker management system now.

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