Friday, March 26, 2010

O Fortuna

When I was 19 years old, Oliver Stones' movie glorifying and mythologizing Jim Morrison was released. I was mesmerized by the movie and by the music - and believe me, I will get back to writing about The Doors again later, no matter how sporadic my entries appear to be - but the movie also introduced me to the music of Carl Orff - specifically O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. The music is powerful, and its usage evoked a similar effect to Kubrick's use of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in 2001: A Space Odyssey - at least to me.

Anyway, The Doors also marks a personal low for me, in that it represents the only time I have left the movie theater before the movie was over - I usually sit through most of the credits if I still can see them (i.e. if people are not blocking the view). I think this is related to the reason I cannot stop buying CDs and go completely digital - I still need those booklets. As an aside, I have to ask what's going on with the DVD booklets that now are virtually non-existent. I guess that people are so used to getting information online that they don't read the inserts anymore... In my defense, when I left the movie before it was over, I was seeing it for the second time (I know, long interjections do disrupt the flow - but I couldn't help myself). Furthermore, it happened during my time as 'russ,' which essentially is a high school senior about to graduate during the week leading up to our national holiday, which is May 17. My friends, who had smuggled beer, or maybe it was moonshine, into the theater, were getting more and more drunk throughout the movie (and I was being my sober self, unfortunately - it means I can still remember this), and one of them just didn't care for the fat, drunken junkie version of Jim Morrison at the end, so he insisted we should leave - and I was actually happy to oblige.

While I am tempted to write more about the time as russ, I think I should get back to the reason I started this little rant, and that was O Fortuna. I recently purchased the CD Unifying Themes Redux by the band Botch, and it had a version of O Fortuna on it that was done just right... Their style is labeled as Mathcore, although I am not sure what that really means. I like the unbridled aggression in every aspect of their music, combined with some very intense freak-out moments, and although it isn't their song, their arrangement of O Fortuna certainly represents this. I got into Botch after discovering Brian Cook in Russian Circles. He is a very interesting bass player, and his chops lay the framework for their very interesting arrangement. He also played in These Arms Are Snakes - and a handful of other bands. I think I need to get back to him a little later - but in the meantime, please enjoy - and play it LOUD!