Vinyl Prayers

Have you ever wanted to listen to songs and selections on vinyl that formally and/or affectively implore you to move against and beyond, to encounter an otherness that refuses reduction, to somehow, and miraculously, satisfy the desire to be someone or someplace else, at least for a moment? If so, then this portal, curated by John Modern, is for you. For in this virtual mix-tape of vinyl prayer, transgression and transcendence are the order of the day: in the harmonies, in the stentorian instruction, in the skips and confounds and glitches and snags that move from an initial sense of disruption to loop to loop to soothing predictability and perhaps a world in which beauty, truth, and reality are suspended as categorical imperatives, at least until you walk over and nudge the needle.

Read the instructions and the introductions here.

See also reflections on the portal from Peter CovielloGustavus Stadler, Randall StephensWendy Wiseman, and Isaac Weiner.

Vinyl Prayers | November 19, 2013

Sisters and Brothers, “Spirit in the Sky” (1974)

In this cover version of Norman Greenbaum’s 1969 original, salvation becomes a social occasion, perhaps even a bureaucratic process. “Spirit in the Sky” is performed, here, by the hastily assembled Sisters and Brothers, who sing it as part of a “rock mass”—a concept made popular by the Australian nun Sister Janet Mead, in the early 1970s.

Read Sisters and Brothers, “Spirit in the Sky” (1974)

Essays & Exchanges, Vinyl Prayers | November 19, 2013

Vinyl Prayers: A Curatorial Introduction

Prayer may be an act of gratitude after the fact. It may be a weapon, a request to heal the body or boost the brain, an epistemic cry, a meditation, a mediation, a quip, a plea, a means of passive resistance, a wonderful gift from God. Or any manner of combination.

Whatever prayer is or has been it seems, often, to be bound up in the play of transgression and transcendence. Within the move across there are the moves against and the moves beyond. Against and beyond simultaneously, continuously, even as a prayer is conceived and uttered, even after it is ignored or answered.

Read Vinyl Prayers: A Curatorial Introduction