Coachella 2011: Spiritualized as the new spa treatment?
The psychedelic and spacey atmospheres of Spirtualized have always had a hypnotic effect on the listener, and such a feel was brought to life at Coachella, manifested in a makeshift, cathedral-like house. Walk inside, and one is asked to pause in a pitch-black room; the switch from the hot desert sun into nothingness can be jarring.
Yet once inside, visitors can bid farewell to the mix of noise that constantly permeates the Coachella campgrounds. Instead, the music in the walk-in art installation is all by British drone rock band Spirtualized, specifically one song: "Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Flowing in Space." The design was a collaboration among Spirtualized's J. Spaceman, filmmaker Jonathan Glazer ("Sexy Beast," "Birth") and architects Undisclosable. It's one of many Creator's Project works at Coachella this year -- a tech/art partnership between Vice and Intel.
The Spirtualized project was "conceptualized as a cathadrial setting," said one of the team's Coachella staffers ("I think I'll get in trouble if my name is published without checking with our communication's department," she said, opting not to give her name). The pop-up chapel has five different window-like slots. They're not pure windows, however, as they're designed to laser-point light beams onto the ground. Stand in one, and listeners will hear isolated Spirtualized tracks -- Spaceman's repeated vocals in one, or just a keyboard in a nother. Step outside, and it's all meshed with white noise.
"I think I have one Spirtualized CD, and I think it's a live one," said Eduardo Bernal, 28, of Phoenix. "It's not a band I usually go to, unless I want peaceful music that isn't boring.
"But this is really cool. I didn't know what to expect. Everyone expects it will be like the rest of Coachella, with lights and neon, but this is not that."
Added bonus: It's air-conditioned.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Inside a sound and light sculpture by Jonathan Glazer, J. Spaceman and Undisclosable at Coachella. Credit: Todd Martens / Los Angeles Times