This is based on an idea that we’re currently conceptualising for Retort Records. I always wanted to have a compilation that created some sort of story about our collective relationship with the city, in that the city is an organic lifeform in itself, one that has become sentient and rings with the ghosts of all who have walked its streets. It was suggested to me by my boss that the actual tracks planned for the compilation are recordings of these ghosts, and that we could also write and commission an artist to create a graphic account of not just the individual stories, but the eventual and inevitable moment where the city becomes sentient, and questions who these voices are, and eventually realises that these voices are a part of it.
We are not separate from the city, we are one and the same as it, and we cannot separate one organic structure from another in our genetic make-up, as so far as the overall picture is concerned.
The following is one of our artists’ – Aneurythm – narrative outline of his track and his very poignant embracing of the subject matter.
This is the lyric/poem that came to me and inspired the song originally: Features in the static pirouette on automatic, Creatures of habit silhouetted pale rabbits.
0:00 Intro – Practice
0:36 Inside club with lover, playing piano
1:35 Something doesn’t feel right
1:55 Kicking in door
2:10 Lost mind, heartbeat, lover dead
2:40 Mind coming together, wandering the streets
3:05 Realises what she has lost, its raining
4:00 Moment of clarity, wants to preserve memory, decides enter machine
4:25 Breathe and Jump
4:30 Inside the machine and with memories of her lover
Imagine a massive city, an ever-expanding hive of humanity that breathes and pulses with its citizens.
As the city grows and technology/surveillance grows, the city becomes intertwined more and more in its inhabitants life, until suddenly it becomes self-aware.
The government that controls the city is becoming increasingly fascist, trying to keep control of its people – curfew, lockdowns, outlawing social activities etc. Trying to keep the rats in their cage.
Some of the rats learn they can escape into the mind of the city itself, uploading themselves and leaving their bodies behind.
0:00 The Pianist is practising her music for her performance tonight, in a hidden jazz club deep in an abandoned district, far from wandering eyes and unwanted guests.
0:36 Inside the club, music is blasting, the club half-full – a good night. In the audience is The Lover, The Pianist can feel her (The Lover’s) eyes burning a hole through the smoke focused only on her, The Lover has seen her perform many times but never fails to watch her play. She smiles a small smile that only her love can see.
1:35 Something doesn’t feel quite right, she can sense a tension in the audience, a few regulars start filing out, most of the audience oblivious, caught in the music. Wrapped in false sense of security. Its too late, The Pianist looks helplessly at The Lover, trapped in their nightclub cage.
1:55 Bang! Bang! Bang! The security forces are kicking in the door! People are running, panicking, frantic. Bang! Bang! Smash! They are inside! The Pianist and The Lover make eye contact one last long look, then grenades explode on the dance floor, The Pianist watches the love of her life disintegrate. Everything goes black.
2:10 The Pianist awakens, stirred by the pulse of her heartbeat, the strange silence pierced only by the ticking of an old grandfather clock. She doesn’t know where she is or whats happened, she doesn’t even know who she is – just inescapable overwhelming sense of loss and despair.
2:40 She flees the old house, filled with the memories of generations of city rats. She must escape. She wanders the streets aimlessly, pulses of discordant memory push her forward, she can not rest. She can not escape her past even tho she does not know what it held.
3:05 It is raining in the city, as lightning flashes a flash of insight. She remembers The Lover and what she has lost, the nightclub, her love exploding on the dance floor. She walks aimlessly, not seeing the world around her, wrapped in the night and caught in her memories.
4:00 As the rain stops The Pianist suddenly reaches clarity, a decision. She remembers the beauty of the life she shared, is filled with a mix of joy and deep melancholy, realises that the only way to be with The Lover and preserve her memory is to enter the cities mind.
4:25 The Pianist takes a deep breathe and flicks the switch, abandoning her body and entering the cities embrace, a desperate gamble but she has nothing left.
4:30 The Pianist is inside the cities mind, the memories of The Lover and the life they led preserved forever, they dance together, pirouetting silhouettes against a backdrop of static and other peoples memories.
Authored by Rohan Lloyd aka Aneurythm
Pale Rabbit (by Aneurythm) is one track on the upcoming Retort Records compilation – “Universal Serial Bus” – scheduled for release later this year. You can hear this and eight other tracks by talented and conceptual artists including Defunkt Dialekt and Warpa!nt later this year, along with a graphic story of the ghosts within the sentient machine.