Playlist Notes: Novas 0.2: The Earth Forever Turning

(previously: Mixtape of the Found Decade)

(previously: Novas 0.1)

Novas 0.1 was an experiment (as all of the Novas project is, an experiment in cyberpunk-aesthetic nostalgia trawling and radically remixed hypermedia on the ragged edge of online rights permission), but it was more experimental than most of these modules because I built it structurally, deliberately layered track by track as a palindrome.

I intended for it to have exactly ten tracks because that’s the parameters I set myself at the start of the project: units of ten or sixteen songs, no repeats.

But Novas 0.1 just didn’t work with ten. It completed a loop, of a kind, with Dance Dance Dance matching and feeding back to Squares And Triangles, but there was no thematic conclusion. No spark plug to it.

Then I found Baba Yaga’s Secret Combination (because they did a cover of Back in the USSR) and that was the missing piece. So after four years, I had to break a ground rule: it had to be eleven songs.

That’s when I suddenly noticed that it was the day of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. (And also was set number 11 in my internal numbering).

And so: an Apollo 11 themed mix.

Novas: In the fiction of Novas, this is Susan’s dream sequence. She’s been having space dreams since her chronologically first appearance in 5.3.

Novas 0.2: The Earth Forever Turning

God is playing marbles with His planets and His stars. Creating havoc through my life with His influence on Mars.
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Playlist Notes: Novas 0.1: The Clouds Run Parallel

(previously: Mixtape of the Found Decade)

(previously: thematically: Novas 0)

(previously: chronologically: Novas 5.3)

Never say never again, I guess.

There is a Novas 6, which takes the story of the Novas a little further into the future, and I think concludes it, but for now I’m leaving the story details of that unsketched. All I’ll say is that Cat Stevens performed in New Zealand and that reminded me of the odd driving beat of Angelsea, which seemed to connect to the equally odd beat of Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill, and then somehow I stumbled on Scriabin’s Preparation for the Final Mystery, and a musical line seemed to form between those two points.

And I thought that was that, but then a Cold War vibe seemed to keep creeping back into my head. And then: Stranger Things Season 3, which referenced both R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. and Neverending Story…. and the often uncredited female singer on that one, Beth Andersen, also did Dance Dance Dance for Scarface (1983), and the riff seemed the same as something, but what? And suddenly: Squares And Triangles.

And so this one was constructed as a musical palindrome, to match that strange sense of parallelism and tension the Cold War gave us. Every track of the first ten matches another one counting from the other side. Here becomes There. Up becomes Down. But it requires an eleventh to unlock the final code.

In the context of the long-form fiction of Novas: I’ve coded it as 0.1, but it takes place before 0, just after 5.3. It is 1980. Jack is now an Agent for the Company, which gives him Simulation access and override privileges. Susan is a mere Asset, a disposable organic computing component, bound by the Simulation… which is currently running Cold War social research in an emulated USSR. The simulation involves the use of music for mass population mobilisation: the Company is trying to hack Russia over the radio. This is knowledge the Novas will later repurpose to their own ends.

Meanwhile Jack is assigned to spy on Susan, but ends up falling for her.

Novas 0.1: The Clouds Run Parallel

Inspiration is what we hunger for. There must be changes, it’s part of the law.
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Playlist Notes: Novas 5.5: This Song Sends Love Through Act 1

(previously: Mixtape of the Found Decade)

(previously: Novas 0, Novas 5.3, Novas 5.4, Novas 1, Novas 4, Novas 2, Novas 5.1, Novas 5.2, Novas 3)

It is an alternate 1987. Two years ago, New Wave singers Susan and Jack fled an Earth in the throes of revolution to activate an approaching alien probe. Although they were successful, their stolen spaceship was destroyed by Company agents and Susan was caught in the blast…

Novas 5.5: This Song Sends Love Through

Act 1: Harmonic

There’s a threat approaching from the stars. All the horrors from Venus and Mars. Everybody better be on guard when the flying saucers land.
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