Magical realism as a genre can be tricky to pin down. But there are so many wonderful instances where magical realism transported us to alternate realities. Haruki Murakami, Alice Hoffman, Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus), Jorge Luis Borges, Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake), Lucy Christopher (Stormwake), Joanne Harris (Chocolat), and more managed to weave the fantastical into everyday narratives and make us suspend our disbelief.
This Music Monday, we’re sharing some of our favorite music that makes us imagine different realities:
Can you tell that I’ve been drawn back to the wizarding world? I have Newt Scamander to blame for that. That delightful Hufflepuff. I loved the first Fantastic Beasts movie SO MUCH, and while the second one had a lot of random story threads (all within the control of the grandmaster puppeteer, J.K. Rowling, I believe), there is so much to love about it I can’t recommend it enough. (Potterheads, please @me on this! I need to someone to fangirl and trade theories with!)
Anyway, this solo piano version of the theme music is so haunting and beautiful I’ve had it on replay ever since I caught the movie weeks ago. I imagine empty hallways and secret corridors, the fantastical woven into the quotidian, the way magic creeps into our everyday lives without us realising it.
I don’t read a ton of magical realism, as far as I’m aware, honestly. But if anything captures the romantic mystism of the genre, I think it’s the mind-bending and ultra creative story of Cloud Atlas, with a film that is just as wonderful as the book. It’s so incredible in large part to the incredible score that plays an active role in the story and this song, in particular, I’m just enamored with.
I had a little trouble picking one for this week’s theme, but this track thankfully sprang to mind. It’s soft and quiet, yet has an alluring hint of magic to it that I absolutely love. The vocals around the :50 mark add another enticing layer to the track, which introduces one of my all-time favorite characters in the film Kingdom of Heaven, but could conjure up any slightly mysterious character or setting.
Which track was your favorite? What type of music expands your imagination and makes you believe in magic in real life? Let us know in the comments!