My subjective little redemption experience Jan 27, 2012
I am happy that I went to Redemption at On The Bords last night. I am an Erin Jorgensen fan and I have been privileged to witness a few really wonderful performances that she has given previously at OnTheBoards. Also, Richard Bresnahan, Lane Czaplinski , Julian Martlew and Steve Fisk! So, yeah... I went in pretty much expecting to dig the show. Ultimately my expectations were met. I have to admit I was in a weird mood; feeling very tender and stressed about some very serious issues that are going on in my life at present. I took my seat and tried to clear my mind with a bit of program reading. I really had no idea what was coming other than Marimba, Singing and Redemption.
Hey, I don't want to be a spoiler. I might give away some details here which would be better experienced first hand.
Erin Jorgenson is obvioulsy an excellent and courageous musician who values personal truth in the complex and confusing aesthetic landscape of contemporary life. She also obvioulsy has some juicy religeous/psychological bones to pick. Pick away! The hour went by in a foggy flash and Erin's church service kept me engaged the whole time. The music was usually inspired by churchy elements such as simple hymn-like chord progressions and the use of organ. Of couse I was delighted when the drum machine kicked in. In general I enjoyed the quirky songwriting and the sound design was very supportive and psychedelic. I shalt not judge.
There were some stand out moments that I really loved. I enjoyed the opening sounds which gradually swelled into a farty climax. And the quiet, lush marimba solo that followed made me happy to be alive. It also made me want to run onto the stage and participate in the creation of such beautiful music. That's the best kind of response I can have to a live performance- to find myself wishing i was an active part of it. The "Sanctus" came as a lovely surprise and was just what I needed to help me join with the angels. The pathos of the "craigslist" song was an absolute joy ride for me. That was the pinnacle. Great use of repetition, perfect structure, powerful delivery. "Are you lost?" Over all I was moved by Erin's subtle movements and gestures. Let's call it dance. I like the way she dances. There was one point about half way through where she is downstage center and barely moving. That dance was heavy. I kept wanting her to make eye contact with the audience and she really held back on that. When she did look up it had extra power and significance because she deprived us for so long. When the show ended I thought "What? It's over already? That was an hour?" Always a sign that it was a good ride.
Afterward I remembered a Carl Jung story that comes from the book "Memories, Dreams and Reflections". I wanted to share it with Erin. He recalls having a troubling vision that kept popping up in his mind's eye when he was a boy. It was a vision of God hovering over the church. Young Jung was afraid to let himself finish the thought sequence because he knew what was going to happen next and he also knew that God could read his mind and would be pissed off at what his imagination had generated. But finally he rationalized that God, creator of all things, was the one who put the thought into his mind so he let it roll and just as he feared would happen, God took a huge dump right on top of the church.
"I saw before me the cathedral, the blue sky. God sits on His golden throne, high above the world—and from under the throne an enormous turd falls upon the sparkling new roof, shatters it, and breaks the walls of the cathedral asunder. (p. 39)"
I enjoyed Redemption. Maybe that's because I like simplicity and beauty mixed in with a tasty dash of classic fucked-up-ness, or maybe because I'm "lost" and I "feel like I killed someone". Anyway, I found a trap door in my basement that goes down to a subbasement which i never knew existed. And would you look at that! - in the subbasement is another staircase leading down to...