Monday, August 07, 2006

Tiny Mix Tapes Redux: Yet Another Experiment in Medievalism in Honor of Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

Well, one week has passed since my request to Tiny Mix Tapes' online Automatic Mixtape Generator for a rock/punk/rage "getting medieval" mixtape [in honor of Stephanie Trigg's talk at the NCS meeting], and since the mixers [or mix robots as Tiny Mix Tapes calls them] are all volunteers, you have to be patient, and if your request is not deemed "interesting enough," it may not get done at all. Since I put in my initial request, new mixtapes have been made for some really interesting themes, such as "Hey, you're beautiful and fucked up a bit, but at least fucked up in the same ways I am, so maybe I can help, and date you to boot" and "songs for the imaginary life I want to spend on a porch, in the woods, near a lake, off a dirt road, reading and writing and playing music with a boy who is in love with someone else," some not so interesting ones, such as "songs for sleeping in a hammock" and "songs for painting squares, circles and triangles," and some really scary ones, such as "I want the human race to die." It might interest everyone to know that the person who provided the mixtape for that last request indicated that, since there are many different ways of hating the world, that he felt the need to subdivide the theme [and songs] into four thematic categories: "music to commit mass genocide to," "music to sulk in your hate to," "music for when you realize how fucked we are as a race," and "bonus track: for when you just want to forget the world." Needless to say, a lot of Meat Puppets and Joy Division on this one.

In the spirit of "keeping it interesting" for the robot mixers [and also to hedge my bets], I have submitted another request, which I share here:

"songs for a really cool professor of medieval studies who writes books about sex, monsters, human-animal machines, masochistic knights, women who have visions and cry a lot, and saints who fight demons in bogs"

Let's wait a week and see what happens.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Wow! I am so honored by that. Thanks.

Though I suspect the mix will come back with equal parts Enya and Yanni.

By the way, the Margery Kempe chapter of Medieval Identity Machines was composed under the influence of perverse aural stimulus. The CDs I had playing (yes, this was just at the start of the millennium, kiddies, when music existed as shiny discs rather than as electronic transfers!) were Eric Lévy's ERA experiment -- songs made of Latin morphemes re-arranged into nonsense and sung by a choir, then set to a Euro-pop beat that could be catchy or treacly) and Karl Jenkins's ADIEMUS project, which went even further: nonsense words were constructed from the phoneme-up, sung by one voice recorded multiple times, and passed off variously as Latin chamber music and world music.

Both Adiemus and Era, I sheepishly admit, demonstrate my spectacularly bad taste in music, but they seemed apropos of Kempe's dissolution into sonority that I was trying to write about.