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Friday, February 25, 2011

Hussalonia Song # 22: Rave On!

On the page of the Hussalonia Internet Concourse devoted to "The Hussalonia Robot Singers," one reviewer, Bernard Fenton, writes that "Hearing these expressionless confessions does strange things to a human ear." That is true, but after a while, the reverse becomes true as well: hearing a human voice, suddenly, after being immersed in the songs and speeches of robots, is actually quite jarring. It feels oddly unfamiliar after all this time spent in the world of the mechanical.

I like to imagine that while recording, the robots needed maintenance, and so the Hussalonia Founder stepped in to help them complete the album by recording "Rave On!"

Though I'm not always sure about my ability to correctly indentify musical genres, I think that this track might actually be considered techno. If so, then it is, if I'm not mistaken, the only techno song recorded by Hussalonia. I am also struck by how much this track reminds me of the music of The Flaming Lips, specifically their albums "The Soft Bulletin" and "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" and the singles and EPs that were released around the same time as the latter. I don't suppose they are considered techno artists, so perhaps that isn't really the word for the genre that this song seems to exist in. What would the word for the genre of those Flaming Lips albums be? Perhaps one could call it "Lipsian?" Who knows? I don't suppose it matters that much anyway.

The title of the track leads me to expect a rather more intense, up-tempo song, and though that expectation is not met, I'm more than satisfied with the actual recording.

This is a track that, prior to focusing on it for this blog, I didn't really listen to often or with much attention. Having given it several proper listens now, though, I find it to be a real hidden gem for me. It is difficult to pinpoint what the quality of this song is that I find so familiar and appealing; it is something I have tried to describe before in other writings unrelated to this song. I'll give it a valiant effort here.

Since I was very young (I'm not sure exactly how far back in my life this goes, but I'm inclined to believe it began even before I began elementary school) I have had visions of my head of particular scenes that are synonymous with certain moods. I have, in fact, referred to them as "mood scenes" for many years, for lack of a more creative term. I've never really been able to put the "feel" or mood of these scenes into words, at least not in any sort of way that does them any justice. It feels like they come from somewhere beyond language, a place of pure emotion and experience, a place that you can remember but never express fully to anyone else. The most striking of these images, and the one I am always able to remember most readily, is in a rather lavish apartment bedroom, high in a building in a city. The sheets on the bed are satin, and there is a woman there. It has a sort of romantic and, the word I would use more specifically is "celestial" atmosphere. There is moonlight steaming through the window. Everything is that moonlight color, light blue and dark blue mixed together. It is emotionally intense and heavy; there is a sense of temporality, like while I'm in that moment I know that it can't last but for just a split-second it feels like time might go easy on me and just freeze that instant forever. That blend of the finite and the infinite makes it bittersweet, but it still makes me feel ecstatic, even as it feels that I might be crushed by it.

A painting I recently saw, by Edvard Munch, captures the color scheme and to some extent the mood exceptionally, almost eerily well: "The Kiss." Look it up. I can't recall any kissing going on specifically; in fact, it is odd that there is even a romantic, almost sexual element to it, considering that this image has been with me since I was fairly young.

This and a few other "mood scenes" have been reoccurring in my thoughts for years. I've had dreams that have had similar moods and that have created similar longings to return to them. Certain films have captured that feel too, including one I referenced on this blog recently, Satoshi Kon's "Paprika" and to some, less intense extent, Richard Linklater's "Waking Life." The original "mood scenes" feel like memories; perhaps they are only memories of dreams. At any rate, I've wanted for many years to return to them. I've long wanted to master lucid dreaming for this reason, to explore them consciously in a dream and find out what they are, where they came from, and experience and enjoy them fully. I haven't managed to lucid dream at will yet, or even have any significant lucid dreams in recent years. I'm still trying and still hoping for it.

Though most things that bring the scenes and feelings to mind involve dreams, and though dreams are what I consider the scenes to be at heart and what I associate them with, "Rave On!" brings it to mind in a different way. Rather that mentioning dreams it mentions dissatisfaction, it mentions ecstasy, it mentions not getting what one craves, all set to an appropriately unusual, ethereal, beautiful tune. I can't think of any other Hussalonia track that has achieved this most unique effect for me; it feels like a comment on the experience itself. I've no idea, really, how far my response to this song is from the intent behind the creation of it, but nonetheless, there it is.

Over the past couple of years the idea has occurred to me that one most likely lives best when he neither compromises for the things he wants nor regrets losses; in other words, reach for what makes you happy, don't accept a weaker, diluted form of what you want, but if you don't get it, be happy with what you have. In other words, it's all or nothing, no regrets. I've decided since then not to settle in life for inferior versions of the sensations and emotions and places I've gone in my own mind, no drug-induced stupors, only seek it instead through self-reflection (including lucid dreaming) and be happy without it if it doesn't work out. The main thing is to avoid compromise, for getting a lesser version of what I'm looking for. I've decided to go all or nothing, no regrets. I've been feeling pretty good since.

This track brings that thought to mind in a fittingly beautiful way. There is some sadness, some bittersweetness in it, sure, but at least the way my mind processes it, that's just a part of the beauty of it. "Oh, I dance alone!" It's sad but you can enjoy it and maybe even change as you go along. It's worth a thought, anyway. Enjoy it while you have it, enjoy whatever it is. "Rave On!"

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