Toon Tunes: Spirited Away
When I first pitched doing Spirited Away for Toon Tunes, I had this fantasy of doing an epic, 125-minute mix (matching the film’s runtime) that charted Chihiro’s wonderful, terrifying, weird travels through the worlds-within-a-world. It’s hard to put into words how much Spirited Away has impacted me, and I wanted to make a proper homage.
Let’s just say I scrapped that. Rather than try and surely fail to tackle capturing the whole of what is truly a magical film, I decided to focus on how the film made me feel, and continues to make me feel, for what has been well over a decade. Spirited Away is a really sensory experience full of stimulating sights—the people, the places, the ghosts, the food, the baths, that big scary-cute baby—and for this mix, I wanted to try to get close to that with sound.
Particularly, I wanted to pick songs and artists that have a particularly cinematic quality to them, that made me stop what I was doing and simply enjoy the experience of listening. But also, songs that aren’t necessarily purely enjoyable, or rather, there is an underlying tension, a feeling of “What IS this? Am I scared? Am I having fun?” that disrupts the listening experience—and maybe it’s that disruption that makes it so enjoyable. That’s what Spirited Away means to me.