February 2, 2006

A Soundtrack to Life

I woke up early this morning feeling feverish and I couldnt go back to sleep, so to pass the wee hours I reached for the trusty MP3 player, my constant companion on my travels. It was still on the same music that I had been listening to on the Inka Trail. I managed to download more than 2000 songs before I left Ireland, but for the entire four days of the trail I listened continually to the music of Rolfe Kent, who wrote the score for the movie "About Schmidt".
Something must have inspired me to choose this music, which I had never listened to before this week. There are times when a piece of music just fits perfectly some place or moment in time, and, for me, the broad dramatic sweeps and sweetness of this music seemed to be a perfect match for the immense cinematic backdrop of the mountains all around us. There were a lot of periods on the trail where you had a chance to walk alone, time to reflect and think, times when it was physically impossible to spend your breath on chat, and it was during these times that I turned to the player for company.
This morning, when I played this music again, I was brought straight back to the beauty and the remoteness of these places, and for some reason a huge wave of emotion came over me, and I had an incredible yearning to be back there. I felt ridiculous but I actually had to fight the tears.
Okay, so you can argue it was the fever, or the altitude, or an ole bout of homesickness, but I know it was none of those things. I´m starting to realise what a very special experience walking the INka Trail has been for me, and it has taken a few hours for its magic to really take hold.
For me, music enhances every experience, and is better than any journal entry or photographic record. Those things can describe very well the places and experiences, but returning to a piece of music you can associate with a particular time or place transports you right back to the feeling, the essence of it.
For me, Rolfe Kent´s score will always evoke memories of walking the Inka Trail.

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