Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The following should not be considered torturous, at least not in this circumstance: getting painlessly saran wrapped to a long and thick wing of a windmill, an old one that's sturdy as it holds, but gives off a good and rusty moan every time it lumbers through another revolution. It would be good to be attached to that oar-like wand, with your head on the bottom side of it, as far away from the epicenter as possible so that you could feel the full rush of the movement in a circle, the spinning as gracefully and easy as it could possibly be in the belly of a modest, almost charming wind. Around and around you would go, the blood flowing like a flash into your eyes and sinuses and then letting up as you turn, pulled by gravity around the bend. Under a clear blue sky, high enough up to be away from all of the stink of below, all those people fighting it out and thinking cruel things about others under their breaths, there can exist a sunny sense of calm that has everything to do with that suspension and that view unobstructed. It's a liaison with a certain space that feet can't take you to and that makes it unbelievable, in a little way. It's one of the reasons that man wanted to fly so badly, to conquer that space that we could build skyscrapers and elevators and stairways and bridges into, but could actually just walk to. Portland, Oregon's Musee Mecanique makes very spacious music that has soft corners, and echoes and light and airy streamers, as if it could just be gone from all recognition before a blink, before a swallow. They might as well be making it in that open field in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the Wrights were solving the "flying problem" for the first legitimate time. It's daring and full of dreams and a complete lack of tension. It's impossibly beautiful and it feels as if it were the blueprint for what it would take to live up there on that windmill that was written of earlier for as long as the weather held, as long as we were covered appropriately. It would be okay to be up there in that space - of theremins and friendly ghosts, of fall scents and the body odors of birds, not to mention the coos of the sleeping trees - even during rain showers and snowstorms, when the water forms itself to match the hanging and gently drifting flakes of melody of Musee, or their sloppy and slow kisses either. The sounds of Micah Rabwin and Sean Ogilvie's voices howling so whisperingly through these warm and nuzzling folk songs is more than a tonic for weariness and dismay. It's an opening up - with great vigor - the flaccid curtains hanging in front of the windows, on a morning when the sun has already got a good, but tolerable cook going on and the light it friendly in its blinding. But then it's as if the light - this blinding and magnificent light - is in no hurry to reach your body, as if it's taking its time to travel from the other side of the window. You can feel it getting closer and you just close those eyes back up and allow it to physically move across you. There's a sound associated with that. Or at least now there's a sound associated with that.
Musee Mecanique Official Site