Wednesday, October 06, 2004

So Near...

While reading Kaiser's post, my MP3 player randomly selected Lali Puna's "Together in Electric Dreams" as the soundtrack. It's a (rather loose) cover of an old Human League song, and, as per IDM/'bedroom electronica' rules, it's thoroughly mope-ified. And very, very pretty. I'm still something of sucker for chopped-up, glitchy vocals - when deployed 'correctly', I find them immensely moving, in a way that emphasises that impossibility of direct linguistic connection that Kaiser was talking about. Little blubs and burbles, word-fragments, half-syllables, all trying (and failing, tragically,) to communicate, to make meaning (it's just occured to me that maybe this has something to do with why I like that Bedingfield song so much, actually).

The song brings to mind someone's attempt at a definition of 'abstract' music I once read and quite liked - that the sounds you're hearing are actually abstracts of a piece that conceptually 'exists' somewhere else, in its entirety! Which is kinda analogous to what I think Kaiser was discussing: we can't relay our thoughts, our selves to another person (not with kind of satisfying fullness we might wish anyway), so we choose the bits (the "tokens") we think will do the best possible job in the world.

I didn't really want to talk about the song at all in the post, though. What "Electric Dreams" reminds me of (suggested as much, or more perhaps, by the title as the sounds) is something I read about when I was doing some private research into lucid dreaming, midway through last year (in retrospect, I think I might've been going subtly crazy then, but that's another story). One account of a "semi-lucid" experience really stayed with me. There's apparently a dream state you can reach wherein you realize you're dreaming, but think that the other person (or persons? I've always imagined it in the singular, but maybe that's just a romanticization) that appears in your dream is in fact real and dreaming too, and you're having a shared dream encounter. I always felt there was something so heartbreaking about it, such a beautiful illusion: the possibility of (unmediated) connection on a (pre/sub) verbal level. And then the profound sadness of the waking realisation - that we're deeply alone.

(Wow, what a downer).


Blogger Kaiser Gestalt said...

Wow. What a heartbreakingly beautiful/awful illusion/realisation.

But is the reality as bleak as all that? How do get around it?

8:36 PM  
Blogger jermaine noble said...

the limits of metaphysical contact probably seem especially desperate and awful when you're at your most physically alone. which, coincidentally, i am.

2:42 PM  
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