July 3, 2005

Disconnected from the locality, tuned in to the galaxy.

Yesterday, I stopped at Borders for a quick browse and a whatever-Borders-calls-their-Frappucino. The barista, making small talk, said, "So are you on your way to Rhythm and Booms?"

I said, "Oh, is that today?" and she gave me the full gape-mouthed are-you-the-stupidest-person-in-the-world look.

The "Rhythm and Booms" fireworks display (accompanied by radio music) is quite popular around here. Last night, the crowd in attendance was larger than the population of Madison. I do realize that Monday is the Fourth of July. Presumably, the fireworks display occurs on or near that day. And here I had been listening to the radio all day on my long drive to the Natural Bridge State Park. But, of course, I didn't hear any announcements and promotions of local events. I was connected to the satellite radio -- off in space. In fact, I was tuned to the ethereal "Visions" channel, which makes driving through landscapes feel like a spiritual journey:
With its blend of soothing, inviting , magical music and inspiring and meditative messages, AudioVisions creates a place you can escape to when the world seems all too real. The music flows with an inviting pulsation and once you've accepted the invitation you'll find yourself surrounded by the joys of nature, inspired by poetry and messages of peace, and thrilled by all things beautiful.

I especially enjoyed William Orbit as I made my little local orbit to climb to a hilltop and back. They played "Adagio for Strings." I wonder what music they played on the regular radio at "Rhythm and Booms"?

Natural Bridge State Park

4 comments:

Jeff said...

Anne,

If you don't already, I suggest you get some Brian Eno and a little Harold Budd for good measure.

Eno invented ambient music 30 years ago, and his ocassional collaborator Budd has been creating minimal music even longer.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=15608

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks. I have Eno in my iPod Shuffle -- it's my studying and reading music.

Kev said...

"With its blend of soothing, inviting , magical music and inspiring and meditative messages, AudioVisions creates a place you can escape to when the world seems all too real."

OK, I can see Eno as studying/reading music, but if I tried to drive to AudioVisions, I'd end up falling asleep and running off the road... ;-)

Pogo said...

Orbit's version of Adagio for Strings is simply exquisite. I had been looking for that particular piece for years, but knew not the title or artist, and had foolishly forgotten I had first heard it watching Platoon. I had begun to think it was another example of my memory being better than the actual piece would turn out to be. But Orbit created sheer rapture.

Eluvium has some pieces equally soft, reserved, and intoxicating. Try their website to hear a full piece played for the opening flash animation.

There are certain pieces of music, like Adagio, First Light on Budd & Eno's Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror, Aphex Twin's poorly titled 3. Rhubarb, Laraaji's Zither Dance, or Erik Satie's Trois Gymnopedies that are the best that art can do. They are so achingly beautiful, so haunting, as to give one a sense of what God might sound like.