Saturday, February 24, 2018

“Inertia – Music from the Motion Picture”
(Hyster Tapes)

There’s something about handmade objects that is much more special than your plastic-wrapped, machine spit-out, printed and stamped bric-a-brac. I got a whole bag of tapes in the mail and the soundtrack to a movie called INERTIA was one of them and it’s the cheapest and crudest of the bunch but also the best one because it’s made from a recycled tape, which in this case means a tape got recorded over and someone used a piece of griptape from their skateboard or maybe some sandpaper from the garage to buff out whatever was printed on it originally. You can feel the roughness with your thumb and connect with the person who scratched it. You cannot do this with a computer or a machine. If a computer or a machine makes something it is not an art object in the same way as someone grabbing a Jesus tape, buffing out the titles, and recording some new sounds over the rambling pastor. This is the best way to do things, the freest way, and the friendliest to mother nature. Upcycled tapes, not recycled. Why don’t more out there do this? Of the large stack of tapes I received this was the only handmade tape, hell the only one that a human folded the jcard. But whatever, the real reason to be sitting here typing away is to describe the SOUNDS on this artifact. The sounds are made by Zoe Polanski and they are haunting, anxious and beautiful, if not a little dark. A voice echoes through empty space, perhaps there is a forest of dead trees, the wind blows, something is missing, the voice fades into something else, an organ, then returns, brighter, dark brown turns to orange and is cold. Mist, a moonless but starlit sky. Mother’s Theme. Dawn breaks and Benny is Gone. The heart beats faster. The mood is anxious and blue, dark blue, a frozen blue and the sound lifts. I have not seen this movie which leaves me at a strong disadvantage in being able to describe what the sounds are describing. I know I am at the cinema. I am not watching something happy or joyful. I am not watching something horrific. I am watching something paranoid, guilty and perhaps scared. I am scared and I am sad and I am unsure. Hush, sleep comes and Mira Dreams. Sleep is peaceful at first, slowed, lulled and torpid but Mira dreams deeper and the voice comes back whistling through the trees and then it is gone again, replaced again by a slow, bright swell that soon will ebb and leave us alone, silent and alone before the storm comes roaring overhead in a televised nightmare. Yes I am at the cinema and when I leave I will take with me all that I have seen and heard and keep it in the front of my mind from years to come.

-Ricky Lemonseed