♩♬♩♪ • The Patchwork – Phosphenes

“Does the trance allow you to escape the mechanization of your body and your mind by capitalist society or is it actually just another form of mechanical compulsion? There must be different types of repetition. Or is not rather that there is no such thing as a blank slate and that you can somehow critically reenact and re-inscribe it through the trance. The trance is attained through drugs and dancing in the big city, and also through ex. This inescapability, the double-bind between escapism and alienation is why she hears the sound of the clock when she’s dreaming in Day of day job. In the commune they are trying to articulate these contradictions in a way that will make them learn, grow. They have not thrown away everything that they did in the city. Their drug experiences (which in some cases almost killed them) also reinforced their feeling of the validity of the need for escape. The music / play has to incorporate these different elements. Their dramatic theory is Brechtian up to a point, they are post-punk and so instinctively aware of the value and power of distanciation and the A-effect (Verfremdung). They do not strive for naturalistic expressionism in any way, but they take Brecht’s point about the value of songs, in popular, vaudeville sense. The music is never afraid of being emotional, immediate. In fact the plat deals precisely in this immediacy. But the separation of the narration and the songs allows distanciation. Brecht’s understanding of the relationship between conscious and unconscious emotion, and his desire to reject the latter for the former is where the girls part company with him however. When he speaks of emotions that would be clarified of their subconscious origins and exist on the nobler realm of conscious thought he sounds like a Platonician in complete denial of what actually drives people. They are not afraid of the unconscious, they actually actively seek the confusion that might arise from stirring it up. They take the risk of immediacy (no interest in being moralists). They believe in joy / they have seen ecstasy. This makes then very different from protestant Brecht, who calls all this stuff “narcotics” in the most condescending sense of the opium of the people. I don’t think a truly liberated society would function only at the conscious level (that’s the functionalist denial at the heart of a lot of Marxism). Desire is a productive force here. So the songs are truly immediate, and direct, and speak of such things as arousal and terror with respect rather than puritanical disdain.

From Brecht they also take the idea that the play is a historical construct through and through. They believe profoundly in the idea of man as a function of his environment and of the environment as a function of man, what Brecht calls the “breaking up of the environment into relationships between men”. This is why the tableaux / settings quality of each piece of music is crucial. It shows what has become of the character in these particular yet generally affecting circumstances, how she is the product of her environment through and through. The next stage is of course their work at the new commune, their attempt to reformulate a new environment (and this of course includes architecture as well as the way labor and leisure are organized) for the new women that they are in the process of becoming.”

Diotima Schwarz on Drama
“Trance or The Shakers and The Punks”

1. Nicolas Jaar – Encore
2. The Golden Filter – Wörk
3. Louis-Moreau Gottschalk – Le Bananier, Négre, Op. 5
4. Bauhaus – Who Killed Mr. Moonlight
5. Einsturzende Neubauten – Silence Is Sexy
6. Philip Glass – Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra – Duet No. 2
7. Dinu Lipatti – Chopin / Vals No. 10 en si menor Op. 69 No.2
8. Modest Mussorgsky – Bilder Einer Ausstellung 2.2 Vecchio Castello (Das Alte Schloss)
9. Grouper – Alien Observer
10. Ensemble Villa Musica – Schubert 2. Adagio (Strin Quintet In C, D.965) (The Limits of Control Edit)
11. Allen Toussaint – Allen Toussaint at Prof. Longhair’s Funeral
12. Krzystof Komeda – Matnia (Cul-De-Sac)
13. Serge Gainsbourg – La noyée
14. Son Clair – The Sea (Part 2)
14. Stanley Turrentine – Later At Minton’s (Live)
15. Field – Nocturne No. 1 – Ewa Poblocka [Piano]
16. Claude Debussy – Deux Arabesque

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