Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Song of the Day #343 - Popol Vuh - Maria

Ave Maria!


It has been almost a month since the last Song of the Day post, and it probably goes without saying that I am upset about this, and that I'm upset that gaps this long happen so frequently that my being upset goes without saying. School has been busy and when I have free time to work on stuff, other projects are out-prioritizing the blog. When will we actually see these completed projects? Whooo knoooooows. I put a "preview" for the next one (probably) on the "Books I Wrote" page so you can "get hype".

Today is the American election and my plan is to avoid the internet as much as possible until it's all over and done with. Trying to follow along is too stressful. I am almost certain that the news will be good (HRC victory) but not so certain that I can overpower the media's compulsion to make me think everything is super close and down to the wire and exciting. I do not want to be excited. I want to relax with nice music and anime.

Speaking of which, are you aware that Flip Flappers is amazing and the best magical girl show since Madoka? How about that Hibike Euphonium s2e05 is the greatest cultural achievement of mankind? Did you know that Scorching Ping Pong Girls is actually a good show? Did you know that Cool Kyoushinsha is getting his absurd manga about dragons adapted by Kyoani next season? And thus we are living in an era of miracles. And a bunch of Pokemon news but where do I even begin with that? Music, too: there's the new D.R.A.M. album and the new NxWorries album and so much other good stuff that I feel like I need to scramble to catch up, but, as I said before, I don't want to scramble, I want to relax.

And so I guess I should just focus on things that are here, and have been here for 40+ years, but I guess this is some sort of bonus track that was only released in 2004? I don't know, and I'm not going to bother finding out. It isn't that sort of post. This is one of my favorite krautrock albums but it isn't really krautrock, it's some crazy East meets West sacred music fusion that, despite being such a dynamic and potentially cheesy idea, manages to evoke the same weight as the traditions that inspired it.

My favorite moment on the album keeps shifting, which I think is a sign of something good about it. For a long time it was a part in the second track - I wrote about it at some length here. Then there was a period where it was a part near the end of "Nicht hoch im Himmel" which sounds like a tempest and I don't think I can put it into words beyond that. But right now it's the very opening of this bonus track, that soft, hesitant piano, that very essence of violin... it makes me think of summer dresses fluttering in the breeze. Or it makes me think of looking up at the ceiling of an unfamiliar church the first time we walk in on the day of a performance. Or later, it makes me think of after, when the concert has washed through you, carrying with it all the memories of rehearsal, and all the other things in your life over that period that are soft enough to latch on. Man lately I have been super stressed and busy or, failing that, brutally tired and stationary, but there's actually a lot of wonderful things to feel good about.

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