All too often, record labels are seen as corporate entities, focused on profit. This year, we’ve seen the opposite, as labels such as Constellation have released projects whose proceeds go directly to the artists. The Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series is their new initiative, now on its third installment (and its first instrumental entry). Jessica Moss‘ Opened Ending is an audio-visual work whose cover is related to Entanglement and whose subject is tailored to our time.
Moss writes that she has “been thinking so much about mourning lately.” Disruptions to mourning affect not only COVID-19 victims, but all those whose processes have been disrupted due to changes in ceremonies and gatherings. In teaming with filmmaker Jem Cohen, Moss brings the value of mourning to the fore.
The nearly nine-minute track is suffused with sadness, borne on a major theme whose main chords resonate in the heart as well as the head. Time is suspended for the duration of the composition, as in loss. The repetitions are akin to memories, regrets, and sorrows. The drone of the backdrop is like particles suspended in air, the second hand refusing to move forward. Deviations from the theme come across as wailing participants, the expulsion of breath crucial to the mourning process.
Cohen’s lonely cityscapes are perfectly suited to the music. The slow images reveal loneliness as a factor unaffected by human company; one can be heartbroken in a crowd. Religious images as well as secular drift across the landscape; a streetlight snowflake is particularly poignant given the time of year. The loneliness of objects stands in unison with the abandonment of icons. Dark clouds move across the horizon. A soup bowl, a traffic cone, a crate and a cat serve as metaphors for the human condition. Finally the open-ended question: what do you see in the world outside these curtains?
New entries in the Corona Borealis series will be released every Thursday, each pairing music with experiumental video, ranging from 9 to 30 minutes in length. Bandcamp is also waiving its share of the proceeds on first Fridays and each release will be set to name-your-price for the first week of release. The compete schedule is below.
15 Jan T. Griffin
22 Jan Eric Chenaux
29 Jan Deadbeat & Martin Bakero
05 Feb Automatisme
12 Feb Light Conductor
19 Feb Off World
26 Feb Sam Shalabi
05 Mar Jerusalem In My Heart