From the Editor: Issue 7, 2020
Kia ora e hoa mā,
In the winter of 2019 I had just completed my final year of assignments. Three days earlier I had bought a one way ticket to Seoul, leaving me with only four days to pack away the life I had built down in Wellington. Despite it being winter time, it felt like one of those sweltering January days, you know, the kind where it feels as if the air itself had declined and no matter what you wore, you always found yourself to be unbearably sticky. My flat was charming in the way most flats are. Eclectic but not in a refined 'I understand design’ kinda way, but more in a ‘I can’t afford or commit to anything nice’ kinda way.
I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder. This is immediately apparent to anyone who
had entered my room. Over the years I had accumulated copious amounts of unfiltered boxes, overflowing with clippings, half used paint pots, sheet music and records. The paints had long since dried and the pages of sheet music had mostly browned. The table tops were covered with brightly coloured offcuts from forgotten sewing projects and room corners were squeezed tight with stacked up second hand books. My oddball museum was often mistaken for clutter, and I can’t really blame anyone for thinking that way. I’ve always had difficulty parting with things. In my room, I feel as if everything in my orbit has become part of me in some way. My rooms have always been a mess, but I always knew exactly where everything sat. I like that I knew how to jump over the sewing supplies that were conveniently left out for when inspiration arrived. I like that I knew that the replacement buttons of every blouse I had sported could be found in the bottom shelf of my dresser. I tried to organise the chaos while making piles to discern which items to keep, but I quickly learned that this wasn’t the most efficient system. They’re all useless things which only made it more confusing why I had so much difficulty chucking any of it away. In the background Boyish by Japanese Breakfast played a song that now reminds me a lot of this period of my life. A time where I was really grappling with the loss of my youth, playfulness and optimism as I slowly prepared for adulthood. Michelle Zauner, who makes music under the name Japanese Breakfast, is one of those artists that I hold a strong attachment to. I remember her saying in an interview that her approach to writing is microscopic, meaning that she often draws inspiration from the mundane. These non-events are later drawn out into beautiful vignettes, exploring the complexity of the unspoken.
As someone who has never been able to properly communicate with her parents due to language barriers, I have found great comfort in gestures and actions. This often means I hold on to items or meaningless events in the hopes they hold something of meaning. For me, Japanese Breakfast has evoked a great deal of happiness and melancholy. And that’s the thing about music, it has the capacity to move, influence and resonate with us in a way that transcends any other medium.
Our Issue 7 theme for Debate is Music. Something that we all can agree has been influential in our own lives. With life slowly returning to normal, now is a great time to show some love and support to both established and upcoming artists. Keep an ear out for local artists performing on our home grounds and support them where you can!