Re-Creation is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 by Hugh Brooks in State College, Pennsylvania. As Re-Creation’s website exclaims, its “main service is to America’s Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and State Veterans Homes. For 30 years, Re-Creation has provided the only continuing, live, therapeutic entertainment presence in our nation’s VA Medical Centers!” Re-Creation is a band with a revolving cast. And it sees itself as answering both a religious and patriotic call.
The strangeness of this particular Re-Creation album (The 5th Edition) goes beyond the costumes and the bypass of the separation clause. It even goes beyond their pious/profane mix—“Olivia Newton-John Medley of Hits” subtitled “Verve and Velvet.”
The religiosity and secularity of Re-Creation are so much window dressing (do you want to book their secular show or their sacred program?). Glitter, glam, and the American flag are all that matter in the moment of collective effervescence.
The song “I Believe in Music” distills something integral about this portal on vinyl prayer: specifically, a commentary on belief as that which does not exist, in and of itself, but that which is, nonetheless, generative. For prayer is often thought of in terms of belief, seen or heard as an instrumental strategy aimed at an object or outcome that has already secured your cognitive capitulation.
“I Believe in Music” suggests a world, as all songs do, when belief is no longer directed at the object itself, where no one thing in that world can generate an absolute commitment to it or protect itself from competing claims of ultimacy. The highest achievement in such a world is the appearance of belief, to enjoy the fruits of absolutism without believing in any thing at all. For to believe in music is to enter into the performative network of belief, to defer closure by reveling in the relationality without end.
I believe in music . . . I believe in love . . . Love is music if you know what I mean.