“This object in motion, will stay in motion. I’m willing this message to you through the void – I don’t know how it will ever reach you but I’m sending it with my head and heart nonetheless. I wish you could hear what it sounds like out here – My suit, my breath, my systems – and the symphony of creation playing all around me. “
‘Music To Die Alone In Space To’ begins with a heart-wrenching cry. Not so much loud and whining, as is deeply poignant – echoing from the lips of a human being left to wade out amongst the endless ocean of planetary forces that is Space, separated from the rest of humanity. You. Music has always been cited as a gateway to other realms and to most of us, it still is. But to put one in the shoes of another living being in that realm, take them through emotions previously hidden or unexperienced and bring them back to a reality so different, is a whole different act altogether. One that was commonplace in the psychedelic musical theatrics of entities such as The Doors and Pink Floyd. And one that music composer ‘Spruke’ tries to achieve in his latest musical expedition.
If you have stumbled upon this article on the internet, far away from Higher Eclectic Ground that has been excessively covering the album’s development and progress- ‘Music To Die Alone In Space To’ is an electronic album (currently on its final hours of a hugely successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign at the time of writing this article) that speaks of an astronaut – separated from their spaceship after having their tethering cable split by a wanton speck of space dust while on a spacewalk – in first person. What is promised is a journey through space from within their space-helmet, brimming with elevated heartbeats, occasional contemplations, the electronic beeping that accompanies the space-suit and the humming vibrations of constellations, all combined to form music.
With $12,000 pledged out of an intended goal of $2,000 that would provide for three ‘canonical’ albums for the internet marketplace, public response to ‘Music To Die Alone In Space To’ has been rave. This largely due to the fact that Spruke is providing certain classes of his contributors with unique recordings of the album – different musical tunes, patterns, sections, cover-art and even voice-actors as per their choice – meaning everyone gets to avail of an enthralling musical journey of their own. Moreover, he vows to have gone to great lengths to bring about a visceral yet genuine experience by avoiding the use of any earth-invoking instruments, all of which is part of an attempt to keep things purely digital and electronic. Even so, how effective is this modus operandi?
In the moments that ensued after ‘Adrift’ – the first track of the album that initiated this article, our astronaut’s heart-beat elevated to abnormal levels. This might very well have been due to the dwindling oxygen, although I got the sense that it was out of amazement at what was being perceived out there in space. The beeping of the spacesuit was still audible but only just, having been long engulfed by electronic waves and a mellow synthesizer rhythm that seemingly served to provide the false yet implausible assurance that perhaps the astronaut’s trip would end well.
This continued for an uncertain period of time before it seemed as if a sudden understanding of their predicament seemed to dawn over the astronaut. The music that was seemingly being created by their heart, spacesuit and space itself turned grim – before a voice arose, that of the astronaut, pondering on the ways they would meet their end. Out of the blue then, came a few moments of ecstasy punctuated only by a passionate cry of pain as the astronaut’s conditions worsened while the synth traversed from side to side. Yet in those moments there was enlightenment – an appreciation for the forces that existed beyond the fragile piece of mass called Earth and a respect for those that had brought the astronaut to life – before gradually fading away into uncertainty. Though not without the distant tune of a piano that seemed to have emerged out of nowhere, echoing perhaps a long forgotten memory before being swept away by the starry darkness.
Was I narrated all of the above throughout the course of the album? Strangely no, for all of that is but an account of the thoughts and imagery that surged through me over its course, each produced as a result of Spruke’s brilliant selection, placement and momentary inclusion of just the right musical patterns and pieces. Even the side-to-side transitions of the synth were deliberate to invoke a deep-rooted feeiling of nausea from the listener -no sound ever seemed too loud or unwelcome than it should have been. With tones so powerful then, it is very likely other listeners’ visual and emotional experiences with the album will differ from mine, unique copy or not, magnifying its significance all the more.
In the version of the album that was provided to us, I’d the opportunity of listening in on two of the voice actors that would be available to contributors to choose from – An Indian Female with a strong Hindi accent and Mikey Neumann, representing the American Male with an ‘Emotional Vulnerability’. Dialogues were few, enough and delivered by a performance so enveloped in the emotional situation they were in, that often I found myself wanting to reach out to them out of the very sense of loneliness they seemed to convey. The cover art that flowed across my Ipod added to the experience further, each so intricately and enigmatically designed to artistic perfection.
To regard ‘Music To Die Alone In Space To’ as another ‘Electronic’ album then would be to belittle its artistic significance. It is a journey of the senses more than anything – one that every artistic and self-conscious being should venture on, irrespective of their love for music or lack of it. It’s quite possible that you might have missed the crowd-funding campaign and the chance to avail of your own copy. While this might seem like a heart-burn, especially when the essence of this album lies in its unique copies, rest assured the trip you do set out on when you eventually get a hold of it on the internet marketplace- will be emotional. Introspective. Psychedelic.
If you would like to learn more about Music To Die Alone’s History and Growth, while staying in tune to the latest updates, previews and even an upcoming interview with Spruke himself, feel free to stop by the album’s Higher Eclectic Space.