On May 9, Bec Plexus threw a 24-hour party, via livestream, to honor the release of her newest album, STICKLIP, in which she created 10 psychedelic music videos to accompany the songs on the record. The videos mimic the live performances she had prepared prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Road to Sound is premiering each of these videos over the next ten weeks. This is the fourth article in our series. You can catch up on the whole series here.
The fourth installation of Bec Plexus’ video release spree is composer, vocalist, and vibraphonist Sanne Huijbregts’ “surrogate reality.” For Plexus, she writes a song made of bold and chilling surrealism. The music is eerie, opening with a vibraphone’s ascending and idiosyncratic repetition reminiscent of an action-packed horror film soundtrack. Plexus enters with a series of uncanny lyrics, whose meaning is difficult to detect. It’s a trip into a whole new universe, sucking you in with its constantly building absurdity.
In Plexus’ words:
“‘surrogate reality’ is the video with the big forest shot by Xuan. Its lyrics are actually constructed as a puzzle. So, it’s this grid where, as the singer, you have to fill in the words to complete the lyrics: Mr. [blank] and Mrs. [blank] disagreed about [blank]. The first written words were ‘what you see around you,’ so in my case, when I recorded the record, it was Multi, Mr. Multi, and the white olive oil was because I had to pick a color and then an object. So that’s why it’s a super absurd text — it’s just random words put together. The composer wants the song to be different every time it’s performed.
At the same time that I was recording the song, I also had this conversation with someone about, and I just feel like a walking cliche, but it was about the idea of whether you live out of fear or out of love. Or, the idea that you’re open or closed as a person to the outside world. And, I think it’s a really interesting thing to think about. So, I just decided to implement that as the topic that they were disagreeing about. I liked the meaning and the text that resulted from the recording so much that I just perform that version always now.
The monologue actually acts out this whole other story where it’s this person who is just living a normal life and then one day he cycles by his school and feels this sudden bold urge to do something crazy. Then he walks up to the playfield of the school and lowers his pants and pees on the pavement while screaming. Then he says, ‘well, I just tried to frame this as the start of something new.’ It was this idea of open vs. closed, love vs. fear, just do what’s resonating with your feelings.”
Black Lives Matter.
Justice for George Floyd, for Breonna Tayler, for Ahmaud Arbery, for Tony McDade, for the countless other Black people murdered by the police.
If you are able, please consider supporting Bail Funds and other organizations working to aid protestors and to keep them safe as they speak truth to power.
National Bail Fund Network (look up any bail funds near you)
For New York City & Brooklyn-based readers: