19th Anniversary Edition of Out. Over ten thousand hours of adventure went into making this album. Will you ever hear all that minutiae in it's densely layered folds? Probably not. But it is good for music to be worthy of many listenings, to reveal itself in perceptual waves. This is a concept album that tells a story. I like to call it a mind's eye film -- a movie to be watched by your ears. Imagine you are in the woods, alone but not lonely, out away from city noise, able to fully enjoy the evening breeze and crickets; maybe fireflies. You are cozy and reclined, wide awake, absorbed in the intense starry sky. It feels like the stars exert a pressure upon you that matches the solidity of the earth at your back. In a moment the spinning earth might release you from it's gravity and you'd be tumbling outward into all that vastness. You slip into a dream: riding in a spaceship past planets...mars...jupiter...you see them spinning before you in all their grandeur as you soar past, feeling their beingness, enchanted. Realizing that it is a dream, you awaken, but find that you are detached from your body and watching yourself dream. How to wake yourself up? There is a sense that some deep part of you prefers the dream and wishes never to awaken, and...who is to say which is the real reality after all? Why not dream on? Waking life is surreal in myriad ways and it's said there are dreams within dreams. So the returned astral traveller rises and walks through the woods but is no longer in one place at one time. Shifted into multiple simultaneous selves that are felt as a honey-like subsance, globbing in on you in multi-sensory layers...loss of continuity, etc. The helium song is an allegory in parallel universe perspective about the protagonist's life over years--in which the story of the album as a whole is but a single evening. A neat sort of riddle and mobius loop.
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