Friday, September 19, 2008

5 Pieces of Music About Atlantis

Possible ancient depiction of Atlantis, from here

In ascending order of awesomeness:

  1. Modern Talking - "Atlantis is Calling (S.O.S for Love)"

    The Swedish exchange-student girl I dated in high school once heard this on a mix tape belonging to the Norwegian exchange-student we were hosting and spat in disgust, "Only a Norwegian would listen to music that stupid."
  2. Earth & Fire - Atlantis

    This "Mellotron-heavy" Dutch prog rock band had the misfortune of having a name completely eclipsed by another that augmented it simply with "Wind" and made it perfect. "Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight" (performed above) from their album about the lost continent is an uneven mix of prog excess and Carpenters' insularity, sounding a little like Belle and Sebastian would if burdened with dreams of grandiose scale.
  3. Sun Ra & The Afro-Infinity Arkestra - Atlantis

    I love Sun Ra unabashedly, as weird as he gets, I'm willing to go, but the 21-minute title track where Ra abuses his "Solar Sound Instrument" (early synthesizer) is too much for even this marathon-listening free jazz fool. But the shorter numbers, esp "Lemuria", are things of serpentine, post-funk beauty.
  4. Henry Cowell's Atlantis

    The real reason for this post. I know Cowell for his surprisingly homey investigations into playing the inside of the piano, strumming it like a harp, setting things on the strings, expanding the already expansive instrument but I came across his rather ridiculous ballet piece Atlantis today and am stupefied. Singers growl and grunt pirate-battle-like "HAAAAHHHH's" and "HUHHHHHHH's" in a movement subtitled "Combat Between Earth and Sea Monsters." Super-awesomeness from the dark corners of American art music.
  5. Donovan - "Atlantis"

    The undisputed all-time best interpretation of Atlantis in all music, ever. Hail Atlantis!

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