All in all, it’s not terribly surprising that Salamander Wool’s recent Ehse Records release — the eclectic, psychedelic Solar Solipsis – is now being realized as an extended movement piece by FlucT, a local avant garde dance group headed by Sigrid Lauren and Monica Mirabile. The album, a mostly instrumental, narrative sound collage that follows the sun’s journey through the sky, is virtually an art installation unto itself, mixing cinematic, spatial soundscapes with idiomatic rhythms and grooves.
It’s the kind of album that deserves to be called an “experience.” Every piece of art is experienced, of course, but some seem to stretch beyond the physical limitations of the medium: painting that evokes the invisible, sculpture that evokes movement, music that evokes color and shape. No doubt the title influences my psycho-musical reaction, but listening to Solar Solipsis, I find it’s hard not to visualize a hallucinatory desert landscape, scorched by an unclouded sun.
It’s that visual, narrative quality of the album that prompted Ehse Records’ founder Stewart Mostofsky to approach FlucT about adapting it into a “live, visual production.” FlucT in turn called on their cadre of choreographers — including Grace Smith, Pilar Diaz, Meredith Wallace, Sophia Mak, and Caroline Marcantoni — to aid in designing the emotional, interpretive performance.
By the way, all of Ehse’s releases are available as free downloads on their website. So feel free to pop over and have yourself a listen before the show. If you’re prone to cherry-pick, I recommend “Reptile,” the track in which the album comes closest to a song — in the chords-plus-melody-plus-lyrics sense of the word. For the other end of the spectrum, try “Solar Solipsis.” And if you can, listen to it on headphones — at a couple moments you will feel the sounds travel directly through your eyeballs.