Sci-Fi sex space battle: Karl Mohr with Antonio Vivaldi!
An electroacoustic reconstruction and radioplay extraordinaire! Techno meets the Baroque in the Fleshbar at the centre of the galaxy in 2117.
"A science fiction dystopian sex comedy with a dose of techno that owes as much to the Fireside Theatre as it does to Vivaldi." - Brent Bambury, CBC, Brave New Waves
This is an electroacoustic reconstruction of the famous set of Baroque violin concerti, published 1725, by Antonio Vivaldi starring: Dr. Peter Allen, Karl J. Mohr, Ariane Reid, Christopher Ford, Jane Walmsley, and Gord Brodie. Using the original Baroque material as a skeleton, this new work takes the form of a techno radio-play transmitted from a trans-galactic radio station in the year 2117.
It spins a dark and stormy tale of love and failed romance in a post-information society, substituting Vivaldi's own programmatic poetry with a story of futuristic sexual misfortune. In short, the result is a film soundtrack without a film - moody, poignant, sometimes comical, the work dances through the range of human emotion. Is it a radioplay? Is it music? Is it Vivaldi?
Turn off the lights and make up your own mind. In the words of Mercury Transgalactic DJ Jack Schmack, "lay back, relax, soak up the visuals. It's a numbers game, man, let your mind do the walking."
Original Press Release:
Karl Mohr invites you to take a wild ride into the future and the past simultaneously with his electronic adaptation of Vivaldi's classic violin concerti, the Four Seasons. Set in the year 2117, this intriguing radioplay adventure into the world of the Baroque, industrial techno and sci-fi ambient soundscapes delivers every note of Vivaldi's original 1725 score but at thrashing speeds, ripe with Jetson-inspired synthesizer mayhem and with luscious choirs of samplers begging, pleading and prodding your deepest thoughts.
With a running narration by an old English gentleman, a clever tale unfolds of love and betrayal in a post-information, post-industrial deadland. Intercut with beautiful acoustic performances, this detailed landscape of gringing sawtooth waves, moving textures and memorable themes demands a concentrated listening session in a dark room with good company and a good bottle of wine.
As a treatment of the most recorded musical piece in history, Mohr's intense and complete treatment of Vivaldi's Four Seasons is sure to remain in your sonic memory forever.
Compact Disc, manufactured, shrinkwrapped jewel case.
1:14:00 duration. Continuous track in 13 parts.
Released January 1, 2001.
Date (Y/M/D): 2002/06/25
Country: Canada Publication: Bad Monkey X Issue:
Artist: Karl Mohr
Album: The Four Seasons 2117
Label/Distributor: Interdimensional Industries
You've got to hand it to Karl Mohr: the man has vision; and the man has balls. Misguided? Well maybe that too. It's hard to describe his recent release "The Four Seasons 2117", at least in a way that won't elicit a dropped jaw, eyebrows raised in disbelief, and maybe a belly-laugh as well. The album is Vivaldi's Four Seasons performed on digital synthesizers, often set to hyperactive techno beats; but wait, the best is yet to come: overtop of it all is a long and detailed narration concerning the fate of love and relationships in a hyper-technological future. So you can see where the vision and the balls come in; and maybe you can see where 'misguided' comes in too.This reads as just about the most outrageous, and possibly worst, idea for an album, ever. However, witness what may well become known as "The Karl Mohr Effect": approach any concept, no matter how preposterous, with pure blood'n'guts bravado, and put everything you've got into it, and god damn if you won't just about make it work. That Mohr pretty much pulls off this grotesquely ambitious concept is a testament to either his talent, or his insanity. Or possibly both. It is hard to anticipate how one will react to this album. The Vivaldi adaptation will appeal to fans of Wendy Carlos and the like, although the rhythms stuck underneath are far more hectic than anything Carlos and her ilk have produced. As for the monologue, again, hard to say what reaction it will get. An hour-long monolog on love in the future seems pretentious at best, and surely boring beyond belief; and yet, it kind of works. The narrator, for one thing, is superb; it is voiced by a Dr. Peter Allen, whose mellow, calmly expressive tone and pleasant Brit accent is extremely easy on the ears, and he is able to make some fairly far-fetched text convincing. (He also brings back memories of "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" radio series.) As a result, the monologue is neither as maddening nor as boring as it might have been in the hands (or rather mouth) of a lesser narrator. As for the text itself, it is engaging enough; the philosphising and ruminating never sink to being didactic or preachy, and the sci-fi elements are at times amusing. (However, the piece could perhaps do without the mock radio announcer intro.) Definitely an album for the eclectic listener; fans of electronically-scored classical music - Carlos, Tomita and the like - should certainly give it a listen, as should intellectual Star Trek fans everywhere. You are at least guaranteed an utterly unique listening experience. - James Andean
AS MUCH OF THE VOICEOVER AS WILL FIT INTO THE CD BABY DATABASE !!!
For now, turn off everything you know... Pull together your mind and centre yourself comfortably. You will soon enter a space very different from the one you inhabit now... now... now... now... Now, the new system update news from the Mercury Digital Broadcasting Corporation. Set your local transform to receive mode in 5... 4... 3... 2... Now, to contribute your own bulletins, galactic travel conditions and new genetic code mappings, set your local transform to send mode using Universe Five encoding. Transmit data in 5... 4... 3... 2... Zip up your gravity suits, it’s 2117, the year of the magnetic switchover, the digital jump to lightspeed. You’re listening to Bitwave 67, Mercury Transgalactic, the voice of the cosmos.
Well, you got the right frequency, you got the right place, you got the right time - it’s a sixty-seven hour radio monolith! Yah, yah, yah Jack Schmack here, you’re listening to Mercury Digital Broadcasting, fuel for the hyperdrive! We’re transmitting via Bitwave 67 - Mercury Transgalactic - the voice of the cosmos! We’re broadcasting from Station Meatball in the heart of the Aristotle Cluster - we’ve got more people blasting in and out of hyperspace here than anywhere else in the galaxy. Yeah, talk about blasted, I just got back from Euphoria Strip. Man, if you think 2117 is bizarre, just wait ‘til next year - it’s estimated 470 varieties of government-approved hallucinogenic hyperspatial compounds will be coming out - make sure you only buy the ones with the Galactic Treaty stamp. Tonight, we’ve got an interview with Linda Modules, gobs and gobs and gobs of new music and an extra-special treat - we’re featuring an electroacoustic adaptation of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Going way back to 1725, back before the information age, back before the modern age all the way back to 1725. Lay back, relax, soak up the visuals, it’s a numbers game man, let your mind do the walking...
In days gone by, music sounded like this... welcome to the future of the future.
In the beginning, everything is distorted and abstracted. There are no clear distinctions between good and evil. There are no memories or feelings. All that you know is that you will never, ever have a relationship with another human being. Coming through the turbulent clouds, your aeroplane is in serious need of repair. You are stained and bruised, but the winds will allow for a safe landing and, generally, you are feeling uncongested and flexible. You touch down on a grassy field, and as the blades of your prop come round to a stop you take your head and your soul to a picturesque hillside to breathe some breathable air...
At least this is the way you remember it - it might have been a huge passenger-carrying albatross, it might have been spaceships, it might have been flying carpets for all you know. Looking back along time’s line you see all the good souls who have fallen out of love and into predicaments and back into love and back to the conflagrations forever and ever, et cetera, et cetera, amen... Looking back along time’s, line you see the brief peacefulness between one or the other, after out and before in; a brief sigh - both of boredom and of relief.
That is where you are now, having a rest, lying on a sun-drenched, bountiful stretch of Earth - it’s amazing that the sun can still pour through those black, lead-filled clouds, that there are still precocious little grass sprouts poking their daring little ways through the battered landscape. Of course, the vegetation has changed, but a bright glorious spring still chases away the nuclear winter. It has been for billions of years, and it wouldn’t make sense for spring to suddenly stop happening. Unless, of course, the tensions of the Galactic Treaty finally snap and somebody actually targets one of those ungodly fission revolvers towards Earth.
But lying in this Dionysian dew, the future could only seem optimistic. Here in the resplendent beauty of eternal spring, you pull off your latex bodywear and wash your ex-lover forever out of your accounts in the sunny stream of your renewed independence.
You are losing your mind. It is happening again. Lust is flowing out of you like an unhitched fibre-optic line. It follows you in your shadows, and grinds into you like a looped advertisement for processed food products. On your computer screen lust forces its way through the mundane news bulletins and banal electronic erotica. You wonder why someone hasn’t invented a static-guard for human beings, a no-stick coating to keep those knowing looks from turning into mutual orgasms. Surely the neo-environmentalist community must use some drug to smother ravenous sexuality. But this really isn’t about body chemistry, is it...
No, your mind has learned a cycle, a pattern of behaviour. All of the conflicting solar cycles experienced in space travel have not been able to blur your sense of sexual timing and you have taken many trips into deep space to try to come to grips with yourself. Sexual cycles go deeper than the movement of the planets, as profound as the motivation for life itself. Now, it is time to lust after your new interest, your new ideal, your new idol. You are entering the clouds again, living the illusion again.
Every day, your world fills with flitting hallucinations: you think you see your new love in the crowded Opticade, in the spaceport dressing-area, at the Fleshbar, in the darkness of cyberspace, and forever in your own internal dream fairground - personality and image haunting your life, wrecking your concentration, forcing you to turn to your radio for comfort.
Of course, every song on the radio is about sex and horror, capital gain and emotional loss. Your loneliness is real again. Your cherished solitude has become an unfulfilling agony, a masochistic and palatable ecstact.
The self will hibernate again.
The union will ignite again.
Put your latex suit on again.
Take your clothes off again.
Your passion is now passionate about you, and you are passionate about your passion. Isn’t that splendid - you’re feeling pretty marvelous now, aren’t you? You’d better enjoy this feeling while it lasts. You are thinking that your fibro-vitaminized juice-supplement actually tastes... refreshing today. (Sure, just like it did last year when you fell in love with your mechanic.)
The two of you are romantic indeed - risking your lives for each other, living your lives together, sending flower-carrying Robo-Servants to each others’ work modules. My, my... you’re... the perfect match. Well, O.K., you’re a match. When you aren’t having sex with each other, you’re dreaming about having sex with each other - a marvellous state of affairs, isn’t this? Well, after all, your affairs are your affairs, but for the time being, this bond is eternal - interrupted by nothing, broken by noone. (Ya, right.)
Well, you’ve decided you’re in love. You and your heavenly mate roar out of the clouds down to the picturesque hillside in your new model SX-04 CYBERPLANE transport vehicle. The hydrogen release valve pops, releasing the latest sounds of your FUDJ-77 music transducer into the serene landscape. A sunset is making its dim romantic way across the horizon, ushering the luminescent glow of dusty neon fixtures. There are no people or cameras for miles, so you throw off your clothes and make sweet, naked, latex-covered love on the grass... rolling over and over, down into the valley.
Sure the satellites will be watching, but the personnel at Meganews Incorporated are always looking for a human interest piece for their daily trans-global program. Oblivious to those peering moons, your tensions rise, peak, and dissipate and you fall to the earth huffing and puffing - your minds full of lavender and bluebells. Holding each other, you pass into a rich dream-filled state.
You wake up entwined under the rising summer sun. Here, in this posture, you will experience all of the profits of love, on through the splashing days, ‘til the leaves crumple and fall. Sweet, gentle kisses, full sharing stretches, lazy smiles... the dew is yours. You gather your things and find that you’ve locked your keys in the SX-04. You giggle and titter in the warm rain, as you search for the hidden emergency lock.
In every relationship, it always happens to you and when it does, it catches you completely off guard: the day when you first notice a single fault in your lover - a bad habit, an annoying peculiarity, or a particular mode of thought. From that day forward, it seems as though the relationship starts to include a rank undertone which leads, ultimately, to catastrophe. Thus, the enumeration of your similarities ends, the enumeration of your differences begins.
Your brain is telling you to be compassionate - that you are alone in the galaxy and that you need this other person in order to survive. Your brain is also telling you to run away before you are forced to watch your house burn itself down. You are experiencing the fear of imperfection - a highly intolerable concept in a gilded, digital age of speed, efficiency and excellence. This fear of imperfection is accompanied by feelings of doubt, depression, silence and distance. Be assured, your lover is experiencing similar feelings.
If you two would just communicate your thoughts, keep your hemispheres glued, open yours ears and eyes that tiny angle they have closed - you would be able to stand the firmament in solid boots. Instead, your animal natures flare in the face of logic, flare inthe face of the logical, rational world humanity has so painstakingly erected for you.
When emotions are positive, you don’t feel them - they feel you. When emotions are negative, NOTHING feels you - and you, in turn, become feeling.
You are staring out of the vision port at a break in the screaming. Outside the safety of this emotionally-charged room clouds are thundering, space debris is raining - iron scraps, mortar and microelectronics swirl - you’re in for it this time... You can hardly walk away from this argument, can you? Where would you go? Well sure, you could walk straight on out the door into the most violent solar storm that has happened in fifty years.
Inside, you cower under umbrellas of a different sort. Your words speak for your actions, and your actions betray you. What in the name of electroacoustic processes are you doing? You are loving with hatred, hating with love. Surely you aren’t having fun trashing your partner’s home - and you definately are not enjoying having your home trashed by your partner! Jealousy and paranoia are common themes here, though neither of you are having affairs... yet. Why don’t you just put on some fresh synthetics, put a leash on the genetically-altered creeping ivy and risk a walk in the Grime Tunnels. Some non-recycled atmosphere, a bit of garbage, some similarly stressed faces - it’ll do you miles of good. Oh, sex instead? Now there’s an alternative!
As the summer sun fades, you and your partner lie back to back, your heads and loins pounding, your minds apathetic, slightly melancholic, both of you already considering the sexual possibilities of your most recent acquaintances.
Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that you’ve both been taking frequent visits to the grassy field in the SX-04 and doing very naughty things with someone who isn’t your partner. The good news, is that you’re both sexually active again and having torrid affairs!
This is an ecstacy of a whole different kind, isn’t it? This is the thrill and adventure of getting caught, the youthful excitement of being naughty - of going over authority’s head. And, clearly, everytime positive things are created, negative things must balance the proportion - thus every caress of your new lover’s face is a kick in your old lover’s face. Hell, this is twenty-one-seventeen, relationships are supposed to be cold, alien and professional. In truth, you are being very human about all of this, exhibiting guilt, paranoia and other forms of irrational behaviour. Once again, your body seems to be controlling your mind instead of the other way around and, frankly, your mind wants some answers.
>>>>>>>>>> This is the Danger Division. We are interrupting an illegal broadcast. According to Galactic broadcast definitions, a network must insert more than one minute, fifty-nine seconds of advertising per two-hundred minutes of licensed broadcast. This station has acquired a seven second overdraft on the standing limit. We will now redirect station synchronization and insert appropriate advertising...
“Fuck you disc jockey - we’ll make our own noise! Introducing the FUDJ-77 music transducer: full digital bandwidth reception for crystal-clear multiphonic broadcast audio with full local transform send and receive capabilities. Ready to go to work for your ears and your precious data with seventy-seven gigabytes of reliable storage media that is both replaceable and self-cleaning. Snaps right into Jack Hammer accessory racks. For your long trips across the galaxy, get the optional Clone 40 station finder. Available at serious audio shops across the galaxy. The FUDJ-77 is a new product from S.K.Y., makers of the Databeam. The Galactic Treaty recognizes radio piracy as a violation and does not encourage the use of this product for illegal transmissions. A Galactic Treaty Broadcast License can be applied for using direct local transform 65-65-48-4.”
“The people are beautiful, and the music is excellent and everybody is bumping and grinding and sweating and you gotta live for that. It’s a bar that you can open your eyes to. SEX... come see what all the hype is about. FLESHBAR excitement and fun that you’ve never had before. We have sexy bouncers and all you have to do is present that wonderful membership card. Just present it at the door and we’ll let your cute little ass in. Better be cute though... The Brandenburg Fleshbar sits at the peak of Mount Amber overlooking Euphoria Strip in Goldenrod, New Highway Territory. Memberships can be purchased at any Galactic Treaty Entertainment office or by direct local transform payment 65-65-48-4.”
“The voice of the cosmos: Bitwave 67, Mercury Transgalactic Radio. Yeah-Hah!”
Danger Division interrupt logged, punishments declared, employment records altered... now reverting to Bitwave 67.