Song of the Week: “Spaceship” by Philip Glass & Robert Wilson
Repetitious songs ignite in me a deep urge toward habit & self-restriction, which can inversely/perversely prompt creativity. Bad examples smart like a nicked funny bone. Good ones leave you forgetting how to drive.
“Spaceship” from Einstein on the Beach delights with slight modulations that compound & subvert what first seems like incessant repetition, promising the possibility of transformation. Not an easy pill to swallow, usually, but this works. The piece is constantly surprising, & negates any tension I might bring to its listening, as it provides its own tensions, its own sense of rhythmic urgency, leaving just enough room for my wandering thoughts, absolved of desire & its forced relationships, as if trance were nothing more than the collapse of enervation by upshifting melody. It’s like sailing in a sea of rubber bands, constantly distending & relaxing. Here’s the birth of the universe experienced in just under a quarter of an hour. In the end, the spaceship’s light lasso sucks us skyward, where we’re terrorized operatically by numbers. This is what it’s like to flatline.
Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?
Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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