Episode 018: A Lua
In which we discuss conspiracy theories, clunky electric pianos, and anthropomorphic cacti
We are going back to the moon! That’s exciting!
I count myself among those who think we shouldn’t have ever stopped going. Look, we earthlings will live in space eventually – and the moon will likely be our first intergalactic address. Why not learn as much as we can while the stakes are lower?
For this optimism, I fully blame all of the science fiction novels that I read as a child, [and maybe as an adult]. HG Wells’ Mars books. All of Asimov's Foundation books. Dune.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!
Last week I imagined what Georgia O’Keefe’s Starlight Night sounded like from the earth looking up at the heavens. This week I find myself composing something from the POV of someone who’s standing on the moon. And that moon comes from Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral and her beautiful 1928 landscape A Lua.
Yes. I understand that you can’t really hear anything in space. I suppose it's very silly trying to compose beats of what it sounds like in space because it definitely doesn't sound like the music I’ve written here. Humor me though.
Floaty things. Low gravity. Voices drifting up and down. The main theme is definitely astronauts bouncing around playing golf. Perhaps the clunky electric piano sound is a moon vehicle driving around, bumping over moon rocks and speeding through craters.
Speaking of that electric piano, very happy with the solo on the outro. Used one of my most beloved keyboard sounds, a Wurlitzer electric piano with the cabinet removed and mics really close up to get the sound of the acoustic instrument. So funky and ungainly and dark.
That cactus really looks like a person. It is not.
Now, if it had been a person, I may have been compelled to imagine this beat from their perspective. But since it's a cactus, I get to stand on the moon instead and admire the cactus from up there.
I love the simplicity of this painting’s palette. Just five main colors. But the way those layers roll and ripple around each other… just shows how much you can do with a little. I think a lot of us would welcome more simplicity.
If you would also welcome learning more about this landmark painting and how it fits in with do Amaral’s body of work, check out this short interview with MOMA curator Leah Dickerman.
Time for a moon-related list! [You know I love my lists.]
What are your top 5 conspiracy theories? I often skew towards the classics, so mine are:
Faked moon landing
Paul is dead
While any one of these could come in at #1, the moon landing is the clear all-time winner.
Why would this be a grand conspiracy? Who exactly is benefitting from this deception? I just don't understand the point of it all.
Think about all the people that study aerospace or rocket science or whatever. Are they initiated on the first day of college and told that they're part of the Big Con now? Then they all keep the secret for the rest of their lives – instead of spilling it to the media or social media universe?
Until next week, thanks for reading Polyester City. If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment by clicking the link above. If you know anyone who likes Music and Art and Stories [and standing on the moon], which is pretty much everyone, please consider sharing by clicking the link below.