Imagine Happiness

This sort of thing really shouldn’t bother me but, given my obsessiveness about numbers, I found it rather odd that only five of the compositions on Capstone’s release of Vox Novus’s 60×60 Project, an assembling of minute-long compositions, were a full 60 seconds and that there are actually 61 tracks on the CD. Most tracks clock in between 56 and 59 seconds, and David Evan Jones’s “Writing Out Loud” is a mere 32 seconds. But to be so uptight about duration misses the point of the endeavor. None of the tracks in the CD booklet notes are numbered, making it hard to keep count, and the notes even suggest putting the disc on random shuffle which guarantees that you’ll never be sure what you’re listening to. So I did the next best thing, I put the CD on as background music as I worked, hoping one of the pieces would cry out to me enough to single it out for attention in the next paragraph.



The one that I absolutely couldn’t accomplish anything during was smack in the middle, track 30, “Imagine Happiness” by Juilliard-trained flutist Elaine Fine. Fine recorded her two children’s voices and fed them through a computer. The result goes from sounding like ’60s psychedelia to the Chipmunks doing the Turtles’s classic single “Happy Together” in only 42 seconds. I kept playing it again and again, once again totally missing the point of this CD!



For a more focused listening experience, the way to go is Capstone’s web page devoted to the disc which offers clearly labeled mp3s of every track, but then you miss out on being able to collect the disc and put it on your shelf.


—FJO