The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu (2005)
The iTunes music store has a nifty feature called “iMix.” Users can assemble musical collages of songs available through iTunes and save the resultant samplers in the music store. That way, when I’m interested in hearing tunes made popular in television commercials, I can do a search for “commercials” and the iMixes created by industrious advertisement music afficionados. This is precisely how I came across the J. Ralph tune “One Million Miles Away”, which was used in a Volkswagen commercial.
In the case of “One Million Miles Away,” I opted not to download the song from iTunes. I decided that I wanted the actual CD, The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu. I didn’t have much hope of finding the disc at Barnes & Noble this evening, especially given that I couldn’t recall the artist’s name it took me 10 minutes of browsing the store’s Red dot Net terminal before I remembered that the title was not “The Imaginary…” something-or-other. Thankfully, J. Ralph has another CD out right now, the soundtrack to Lucky Number Slevin, and it just so happened that they were featuring The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu right alongside the soundtrack at the sales counter.
The disc I bought tonight is actually a re-release of The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu, which was originally released in 2003. The re-release features a ninth track that was not on the original. This track, “When She Dances”, was used in a Honda Civic Hybrid commerical. J. Ralph has a talent, it would seem, for making car commercial music.
There’s a good reason for this, I think. J. Ralph creates music that burrows deep into your brain and sticks there. They’re not the type of tunes that you hum, but rather the ones that play over and over in your head as you’re slogging your way across a snow-covered grocery store parking lot at ten-thirty on a Thursday night with a bag containing cough drops and a two-liter bottle of Sprite in one hand and your car keys in the other. You’re not sure where you heard the strange little classical guitar riff or the haunting, simplistic piano melody, and you may not associate it with German engineering or superior gas mileage, but there it is, running on a seemingly endless loop through your inner ear.
The Illusionary Movements of Geraldine and Nazu is eight tracks of orchestral, operatic music followed by a bonus track that is neither of those things, but fits in with the rest because it makes itself at home in your subconscious, choosing the most unexpected moments to remind you that it lives there.