Alone in the Theatre with Bowie

shark on ocean surrealism style photography from Jati Putra Pratama

There are celebrities who, having been in the public eye for many years, we talk about with sympathy and detachment when they pass away. Then there are those who are neither family nor friends — coworkers, perhaps — who we remember fondly, sometimes inexplicably emotionally, because they played a part in who we are today. And, finally, there are those who, though they are celebrities, we remember as though they were close friends. This is the way I remember David Bowie and his music.

I do not remember how I came across Bowie’s music for the first time. Considering how prevalent Bowie’s music and face are in pop culture, I probably encountered him before I knew who he was. What I do remember, however, is the first time I heard ‘Life on Mars?’:

Now she walks through a sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she’s hooked to the silver screen […]

It is often difficult to talk about, let alone think or feel, what we truly want to talk about. What is at stake in the heart of one’s heart is often evasive. As I listened, I did not experience a revelatory moment with Bowie’s voice in the background. Instead, I recognized the girl in the song as someone I once was, could have been, is, and will someday, probably, be again. So I listened intently. And Bowie sang what was at the heart of it all, whatever ‘it’ may be.

It is strange how music that reflects our loneliness and turns it into a narrative, as Bowie’s diverse body of work does, makes the walk through a sunken dream bearable, beautiful.

Come listen to our February mixtape for music that resembles Bowie's in such spirit.

- The Ana Banana Team.


photo: tumblr via Cigarette Circus
Original artwork by Jati Putra Pratama