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Thursday, March 15, 2012

"A Thousand Violins", the love for music

A Thousand Violins (Mil Violines, Spanish original title)- Kiko Amat

A novel? A biography? A compilation of essays? Yes, yes, and yes. But "A Thousand Violins" is much more than that. It is one of the most engaging love letters music has ever received. If, like me, your passion (obsession, an important part of your life) is music, this book is for you. This should be the last line of my review, but I can resist it. Thanks for the book, Kiko Amat.

This is an emotional work, because music is made of emotions, seeks and produces emotions in everyone of us. And because is the most powerful mean of human expression, it helps to define us. It define us. I agree with Amat, beware of the people who are "not interested in music", or the people that are ok with any "kind of music", able to listen everything".

Therefore, "A Thousand Violins" is a romantic book too, as Amat gives music such an important role in life. I completely agree with him, but it is really? The patronised, manufactured, advertised products that the industry sells as "the-next-big-thing", the standardisation of music styles, the importance of image and trends (indie being exploited as well), the pathetic behaviour of the industry in front of the technological changes, only interested in maintaining the bigger piece of the pie... There are too many issues that contradict Amat's wonderful vision of music today. But I repeat, I do agree with him. Music has that potential, and despite all the obstacles it faces, it keeps resisting, and being able of meaning so much for many many people.

Of course, as it is structured and developed, "A Thousand Violins", is also a very personal book. In the vein of Nick Hornby's "31 Songs" but way richer, Amat deconstructs part of his life through music. Through songs and groups. And how they influenced, marked his personal experiences and his memories. It is not a music book, but one of a "writer as a human being in love of his favourite songs". About a "life raised on music". 

And that brings me to the most striking thing of this book. Despite this is Kiko Amat's life and opinions, it profoundly connects with me (and I would dare to bet that he will do also with you). In a way is how it is written, propelled by his immediacy and feeling of proximity. But it is basically a matter of passion. Doesn't matter we don't share the same opinions (male music? uggh) tastes (not a mod fan), or that we strongly (Dylan) disagree in some artists. We are moved (inside, inside) by music. 

I laughed (destroying Queen, Abba, Phil Collins, etc), shed a tear (the R.E.M. chapter), and enjoyed the ride all along for its almost 300 pages. And if that makes sense, I felt encouraged to keep writing about music (this blog, for example). "A Thousand Violins" invites to write your own book. Because we all have one. Inside of us. Thanks again, Kiko Amat. Let's "Talk About the Passion".

SCORE: 8,5/10

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