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Of all twenty-six tracks split across two discs (twenty-seven if you were to count the automated monologue “[index 00]: Annex to Appendix to Enclosure A,” a ghost track hidden in a pregap that could only be heard if you cued to track one of disc two and then manually back-scanned through the song to its beginning) the next song sequenced to play was Mireille’s favorite. Despite even that, she felt bored and pressed the small round button printed with a square that signified Stop. Besides, she did not need to listen to hear it. It was there in her head. Situated as it is in this sprawl of a double LP, this track always felt to her like a little accidental thumb-smudge of color; something the artists’ pigment-wet hands left behind while busy crafting the other more obviously grand works. A song of uncomplicated fondness called “Queen Aubade,” it is presented by instruments that comport themselves like bright shapes with rounded edges.
You were carved
from the rime
of frost that gathers on
blue glass of windowpanes
from sugar cathedrals
and you are beautiful—
A gambol of diamonds
play games in your head.
An orchard of opals
your cerebellum and
is warm with a symphony of laughter.
Even now as an adult walking along a brick path that wound through scattered trees on the far-end of the college campus, Mireille could hear the song if she wished. This she could do without searching for it stored on or streamed through the mutterboX_6 currently slipped within a little zippered pocket inside her purse. She could hear it in memory even though she had not played that record in quite some time. In fact, she was now better equipped to comprehend the subtle chord sequence and pitch-shifts that caused the tune to wobble bold and slather like marmalade as does the constant dawn across the world—moment-by-moment. She still loved it.
With only a few more years on from her teenaged ones, this was music one could be embarrassed to have once enjoyed so much. Together with the musicians’ seeming earnest theatricality, the fact that you ever truly relished something to such an extent—the fact that you ever felt anything so intensely—its memory could leave you uncomfortable; or worse, uncool. But with a few more years piled on top of that, Mireille would come to recognize that there was a bizarre risibility inherent in these songs’ construction. No one would attempt such things without some weird sense of humor.
No, it was not strictly parody or irony, nor any of the other methods of detachment we put in play in order to protect us…“from what, laughter?” Yet there in the studio there simply must have been some measure of alacrity and a joyous appreciation for creation. Mireille didn’t think one can do something like […] Phantom Limbs […] and take themselves too seriously.
In terms of art (whatever that means), there is an essential intimacy between creator and creation. When shared with outside parties, all intimacy is ridiculous. Mireille supposed that the musicians of Locust Mirror must have been aware of how this transmutation occurs and that they played on this exchange in relationships. Yet, sometimes sweet hints of that initial intimacy could be seized and adored by the sensitive nodes of an other through a mutual delight, or perhaps, mutual delirium. Beyond mere limbic systems and mirror neurons—O what a small miracle is this communion when what can be such poor currencies is all we have to facilitate this equation.
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