The art of musical co-habitation

Joanna BorysiakI think we got to the point when the argument of me being busy chasing everybody else for their posts is no longer credible. I must now lead by example. And so here it is – my own Kevin-music story.



If you’re hoping for a romantic story, candle-lit dinners, walks at midnight and all that crap – tough. This is a different kind of love story.

Let me tell you this much: musically speaking, graduating as Kev’s girlfriend was bloody hard work.

At the beginning, Kevin was not impressed. When he first asked me about Led Zeppelin, I thought he meant the odd-shaped flying thing from Indiana Jones films. The name Boris only made me think of the former Russian president and Behemoth – of The Master and Margarita (plus I had no idea they were Polish).

My only saving grace was that I share a birthday with Jimmy Page…

Kevin tested me incessantly, brought me CDs with compilations of ever more obscure pieces that caused in me anxiety attacks or bouts of aggressive behaviour (What ARE we listening to? Is the stereo broken? What is this s_ _ _?).

Then Kev got friendly with Richard from work, and so I was off the hook while they joined in the worship of some Japanese bands that play what I call musical abomination.

It all culminated in a concert he took me to a few years back (Kev will say he gave me a chance to opt out, but don’t believe it). It was Lou Reed (cool, right?) and… the Metal Machine Trio. Best summed up by someone we overheard as they were leaving: “I never craved silence more in my life.”



But please, don’t think I’m not into music. In fact, my taste in music is very possibly as eclectic and diverse as Kevin’s, except we don’t often overlap. If we do, it may be in most unexpected places, like when I discovered that the beautiful music to So ell enzina, an anonymous text from Cancionero de Palacio, a collection of Renaissance songs from the 15th and 16th centuries, was composed by John Paul Jones.



With time, we developed strategies for peaceful co-habitation, best expressed in how our music collections have (not) merged. The labels we use are: “Kevin’s Music”, “Joanna’s Music”, and “Joanna-friendly Pile”. That last selection is played when we enjoy a quiet evening in. Otherwise, Kevin is usually very keen for me and Jan to nip into town on a Saturday and have the whole house (not just the music room) to himself and his music. He can finally play it really loud.

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