NPR

All Ears: Contemplating The Cosmos

A handful of recent experimental albums reach beyond our material world, turning away from familiar "cosmic" tropes, toward explorations of the elemental, the divine and the unknown.
Source: Angela Hsieh

"For me, thinking about the cosmos has come first from a position of being disappointed in humanity," said Congolese-Belgian producer Nkisi over a Skype call from her home in London. "Only dealing with human information can be very emotionally dragging and can put you in this position where you feel you have no power."

At a time when the machinations of the music industry work to keep interest focused on human bodies — so relatable, so marketable — it feels like something more than a worthwhile counterpoint to look to heavenly bodies instead. "I feel a lot of comfort thinking visually of the cosmos, and the stars," continued Nkisi. "It's kind of this infinite depth; it doesn't have to do with logic."

One of my favorite ways to listen to music is when I'm in motion. On a morning walk when the moon is still showing its face, or on a train as the day melts into dusk; the space between my ears and my headphones can be a portal, and there are few things I find as therapeutic as hitching a ride with an artist in, that reach for realms far beyond our material world, seeking to open doors to new perspectives.

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