The Notion of Home: Tim MacGabhann

Mexico - Mexico City

I’ve always had to keep the notion of home as portable as possible. I move around a lot, so I feel a strange kind of pride in the fact that I can fit my whole life into three bags and two small boxes of books. My friend John Morton wrote a play many years ago called Heart-Shaped Vinyl, which had a line about how songs are little speed-wraps of memory. You live something, you listen to a song that feels adjacent to the experience, and bam, that’s it, the song and the moment have collided into a single unit.

On the one hand, it seems quite depressing that these little melodic photographs of instants of home-feeling fit on a playlist, but, on the other, it’s sort of all I’ve got, so I just have to roll with it. Nowadays I live in an apartment that’s basically completely silent, with marbled glass window-panes that fog out the light, so it kind of feels like a skullscape of some kind, but that makes the pictures and feelings wrapped up in these songs glitter all the more brightly. I like a lot of heavy basslines — there’s a warm, amniotic thrum to them that taps into a fairly deep yen for comfort and safety — so you’ll find a lot of that happening in the playlist, but then there are songs that remind me of wandering around Mexico City in a way that’s become a little less relaxing in the times of pandemic. Thankfully, though, I get to just sit at my desk and let the pictures flicker around and around my head until it’s OK to go outside again.


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