Sunday, September 27, 2015

Song of the Day #207 - Arvo Pärt - Spiegel im Spiegel

Sacred minimalism...

I've been watching a bunch of Adam Curtis documentaries lately. I really like them, they're pretty easy to watch and follow but you end up learning a lot of stuff and feeling vaguely "productive". They leave me with a sort of content powerlessness... Like you think "oh, now I understand, and there's nothing I can do about it, and things are sort of OK anyways"... it's a restructuring of where you think you ought to place blame, a broadening of it, until it seems like a distant, fuzzy static, just an underlying principle of how things are.

This song was used in one of them, I think The Century of the Self, in a scene where people are all happy and such in slow motion, and he's coming to some point in his argument that's sort of saying "and thus everyone was content", and maybe he followed it up with "but they ought not to be!" (accompanied by Pärt's "Für Alina", probably) or something, but it's this moment that I want to focus on. And it reminds me of a part I read recently in Tao Lin's short story "Three Day Cruise" where he describes himself (or the character that represents him) as "Outwardly depressed but inwardly content"... It's that sort of feeling. Like just now I tried to see the Super Blood Moon but it was too cloudy. A sho ga nai sort of feeling. I can list examples all day. Other musical ones: ValuskaAvril 14thGymnopedie no 1, and a bunch of other piano-based, soft, minimal, repetitive pieces, that you hear in movies a lot, but might not know the name of, or go out of your way to hear.

Cause if you do go out of your way to hear them, you could get kinda addicted. Like if you're gonna want to listen to this for 10 minutes, you'll probably be in the mood for another 10 minutes right after. It's not like whatever mood made you put it on in the first place is gonna change because you heard it. It's just gonna get even stronger. That's how most music works but a lot of stuff has a sort of "definitive moment" to it, like, some point that best encapsulates the feeling you were "aiming for" by listening to that music. With stuff like this, it's more transitional, it's more about the whole piece, about certain experiences that you reliably have throughout, but require the whole of the work to facilitate. Like I love the part in this about 2/3rds through where it just goes further and further up, and there's no lower chords for the whole progression... it feels like you're bursting through the clouds slowly, everything is getting brighter, and then you fall back into the clouds and just rest on top of them... it's a very low level feeling that can't be articulated except through description and relying on parallel imagination, so I hope you get it too. Because it's like this, I can't really take it with me. I can anticipate the feeling, but I can't truly remember it. Whereas uhhh like when Young Thug first does the hook on "Again", when he first says "Thugger and Guwop again", I can drill that into me a couple dozen times back to back and then reliably play it back in my head. Here I need the whole thing, effortless, just flowing into me.

No comments: