To get an idea of Reuben as a person, or to see whether you think your music tastes will coincide, here is a brief interview:
1. Where are you from/what year are you in?
Cornwall, Fourth Year
2. What do you study/ why do you like what you study?
Philosophy (this semester also a module in anthropology).
I like the way it’s very rational – you know where you stand. Also, the way that a basis in philosophy gives you the ability to criticize things in a constructive way. It’s very free in the sense that you are able to have your own opinions, and don’t just recycle the opinions of other people. As long as you can give evidence and construct a reasonable argument, it will be considered, so its Egalitarian in that sense. I also really enjoy the discussion in class.
3. What was the first album you bought?
Never bought an album. All my albums are inherited, almost exclusively from my mum. An early one I remember listening to it in the car was called ‘Reggae Roots’. My mum was also into Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading – both strong female voices. At one stage my mum had a shaved head and an eclectic spike/punk/hippie aesthetic. She also had a lot of older brothers who were very into the 1960’s – long hair, motorbikes, smoked a lot of weed.
4. Try and describe your music taste in one sentence/phrase:
Hmmm… I think I will respond to this in the style of Richard Ayoda – there is a channel four interview where he talks bullshit to his interviewer, turns the interview around or into a piece of comedy until the interviewer doesn’t know how to respond. So why don’t I ask you: What is music? What is taste? [the interviewer kept quiet]
5. Who has most influenced your music taste and why?
My mum has influenced it a lot, and my sister too. My sister and I have a rapport where we send each other songs over Facebook. She is into blues, the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Creedence Clearwater and The Doors. I’m not very musically talented, but I love a good dance – being able to express my joy about the music/the rhythms of it. It’s a very fulfilling form of artistic expression and a communal activity. Dancing I find I enter a state where you just tune into the rhythm and let your body do the rest. When you do listen to music, you can’t help but make certain moves with my body, like a natural instinct to do that. Because of that its quite guttural/sexual, you are there in life/ feel like you are really present in the now.
6. Is there a song on your playlist that particularly stands out/is close to being your favourite?
No, I wouldn’t say there is. My playlists vary a lot – depending on my mood, what emotions I want to feel, or if I’m looking for a sense of catharsis, if you are sad for whatever reason, you might listen to a certain song.
7. When do you generally listen to music?
Running. Listening to music while running is meditational, it helps you let out certain types of energy. I never listen to music when I work. I also like the music to be loud enough – if you are straining a bit to hear it ruins the whole thing, like earphones which don’t quite fit – the music needs to be all-encompassing.
One case where I thought this was perfectly achieved was an exhibition in Bristol – the tactile elements, sounds and abstract visuals were all-encompassing, creating a whole, cohesive sensory experience. Another interesting music experience I had was in a Shamans cave. Basically what happens is you go into a barrel, someone puts a didgeridoo in the barrel and they play music (I was a bit high) the whole thing reverberates around you. It was quite scary, because it was so loud – but the whole idea was that you come to a kind of spiritual realisation. In a way I had one – I felt very powerful emotions, everything felt very real and quite malleable. you felt you could make an impact on things – like you were a part of something very fluid, sounds and notes that many people had experienced.
8. Are there any new artists you have come across recently that you would recommend?
Bobby McFerrin – like beatboxing, his voice does almost all the work in his songs. Thinking about bodies again – it is amazing that his body/voice are able to produce this.
9. What was the last song you listened to?
‘Rock stone’ by Stephen Marley
10. If you were cast away to a mythical island, and could take five tracks and one book, what would they be?
See playlist and a book about the Mythical Island’s Flora and Fauna
(1) Toots and Maytals – 56-46 is my Number
(2) Bobby McFerrin – Thinking About Your Body
(3) Lowell Fulsom – Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?
(4) Mungos Hifi – Bicycle Rider
(5) Nina Simone – Strange Fruit
(6) The Beatles – Lady Maddona
(7) Hozier – Take me to Church
(8) Son House – Don’t You Mind People Grinning
(9) Nora Jones – Turn me On
(10) Xavier Rudd – Mother
(11) Delroy Wilson – Rascal Man
(12) Delroy Wilson – Better Must Come