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that forgotten sad song myriam garzia   I  txo!? We have been talking with Arkaitz Cano about XXI. music. A century that it’s allready behind in the open waters of our memory that forgotten sad song as it is lost. Lately, in your literature you don’t refer to music as much as you used to. Is it a stage of your life that you have now left behind?
If it were for me, it would appear more often. I have to hold myself back, maybe these last short stories really don’t have that much to do with music, that’s all. That said, in "Neguko Zirkua" - The Winter Circus – (Susa, 2005) there are two stories about music. One of them, the last story in the book "Camarillo Brillo" is based on a song by Frank Zappa, a song for life let it be said, and seemingly autobiographical and ironic at the same time. In the other one, "Berlin monogatari", Nick Cave and Lou Reed are referred to. In "Belarraren Ahoan" –In The Grass Mouth– (Alberdania, 2004) black Jazz musicians are confined to Nazi-controlled New York where they are forced to play Wagner.
I too am restricted from making so many references to music. It was more noticeable once. In "Beluna Jazz" (Susa, 1996) there is a song by El Ultimo de la Fila, the whole song "Aviones Plateados" appears rewritten. It’s in Basque so it goes more unnoticed, but it’s easily identified in Spanish. As I was writing the book I wasn’t listening to anything else and the song finally made its way into the story. The "Beluna Jazz" story itself has the same structure as a jazz song because it’s repetitive. I like that escape. The kind of freedom that exists in jazz applied to literature.

Do you listen to music as you write? Why is there such a close relationship between music and literature?
Well, at first I kind of followed a method of induction. Now I write in silence. I’m a frustrated musician and when I write, I type on the computer keyboard as if it were a musical keyboard, and I just follow the rhythm of that sound. I really like that feeling. The short story “El Perseguidor” by Cortazar based on the life of Charlie Parker explains the relationship between music and literature very well. There are moments when the concerns of the writer and the musician are one and the same. Just like tobacco leaves hung up to dry whose essence and aroma grow with the passing of time, the meaning of a song or story can always go that little bit further. It’s as if they haven’t been totally finished. In music and literature songs and stories are fossilized in our memories and we will recognise these fossils in future songs and stories.

Nowadays can music be sort of avant-garde along with other art forms?
Yes, it can, because of its spontaneity in time. It’s immediate. The most progressive writers of the 20th Century wrote plays because of that spontaneity and the close relationship between theatre and the public. Concerts have that. The live feeling and the complicity that’s created with the public is there.
For example, it’s great to go to a city you don’t know, walk into a bar and hear a song you like. Even better if it’s a version of the song. That happened to me a couple of weeks after I arrived in New York, when I heard Morcheeba’s version of “Summertime”. I was on my own but me, Gershwin and Morcheeba met up in that bar. I felt I was in good company.

Can music or literature open up the doors to a new age?
In the words of Gil de Viena: "We’re not the way we used to be, even if we still like the odd song". Maybe, as the years go by, we change the way we look at songs.
I don’t now if music can open the doors to a new age. Maybe it condenses one. Like if you take a photograph from the sixties, you can condense that in a song. You can recall the scent of a time with music. As Tom Waits says: "The title of a song should contain the name of a city or a woman. It should mention the weather and the local food and drink should make an appearance because as the song progresses our hunger is awoken." In that case, I would connect the story and the song.

10 basic love songs
1. Marvin Gaye’s "I want you"
2. Miles Davis’ "So what?"
3. Jeff Buckley’s "Hallelujah"
4. Anari’s "Zu gabe esnatu naiz, zurekin egon ostean" (Kutxa Beltza)
5. Bessy Smith’s "Empty Bed Blues"
6. The group Morphine’s "Thursday"
7. Frank Zapa’s "Camarillo Brillo"
8. Clam Snider’s "I have the unknown"
9. Paul Simon´s "Fifty ways to leave your lover" also the version by Sidsel Endresen and Bugge Wesseltoflena as well as the version on "Live in Tokyo" by Brad Mehldauk
10. Mark Eitzel´s "Queen of no one"