For those of you who haven’t seen it, ‘Dancer in the Dark’ is a movie starring Bjork.
The movie is okay; it’s a bit long, I think, though parts of it are outstanding. Of course, Bjork is a fabulous and outrageous vocalist with, shall we say, a unique view of the world. ‘Dancer in the Dark’ is a musical of sorts with the soundtrack by Bjork. I actually got the soundtrack (‘Selmasongs’) quite some time before I saw the movie since I’ve been a fan of Bjork for many years; in fact, the initial ‘B’ in ‘Bjamexza’ was added in honor of her work with 808 State.
Selma, Bjork’s character, works in a factory. As her eyesight fails, she continues to find music in her surroundings, especially at the factory where she works. Selma loves Hollywood musicals, and she visualizes or hallucinates production numbers to go with the found music in the factory. Found music, of course, being the noises in her environment interpreted as music.
Being somewhat of an industrialist in terms of both music and outlook, I love found music… Consequently, Selma’s numbers speak to me.
About two weeks ago, I was in my client’s factory late; during second shift. I was working on a computer that is in constant use during the first shift; there were some network issues, so I was crawling around on the floor under this workstation when I clued into this awesome music being played in the factory.
Some pneumatic press thing was operating; pssh, pssh, pssh, pssh.
An automated cable cutter was operating; clack, clack-clack, clack-clack, clack-clack.
Someone was pulling different cable stock off of a ratcheted spool for some other purpose; bzzzz. Bzzzz. Bzzzz.
These three noises were in sync in a most excellent way; pssh, clack-clack, clack-clack, clack-clack. Bzzz!
I stopped what I was doing and just listened for really long time, lying in the dust under the workbench. Pssh! Clack-clack! Bzzz! Clack-clack! The noises were familiar ones in the factory but I had never heard such a rhythm in the machines before.
The music went on for a really long time; so long, I briefly wondered if I was losing/had lost it. I finally decided on the ‘dentist rule’; if you aren’t sure, you’re not. Under the table, as I was, I would not have been able to see the dancers, but they surely could have been there.
It was very cool. I wish I had been able to record it.