His first full EP on the label after already contributing two remixes in 2015 and 2016 respectively, Italy’s Musumeci brings “Mood Organs” to Diynamic.
The EP is inspired by a dystopian instrument from the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” called Penfield Mood Organ. In the novel it is used by future citizens to regulate their emotions by dialling in a specific number for the corresponding emotion. Musumeci later realized “we already have this fantastic invention, we call it music. Out of all the possible ways of expressing yourself through art, music is the most capable of evoking emotions.”
Here, we exclusively premiere ‘Mood Organs’ and also speak with Musumeci on all things Sci-Fi!
“Mood Organs” is available 3 November on Diynamic PRE ORDER
Explain the inspirations behind Mood Organs? As I understand it, it continues your development of SCi-Fi influences including Philip K Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”.
In Philip Dick’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” there is an instrument called Mood Organ, it pilots your brain into an emotion or another. The role of this instrument in the novel is negative, basically the government uses this machine to control people emotions and make them perfect users. Anyhow, the incredible potential of such a machine was stimulating my fantasy till the moment I realized that music can actually work in that sense too.
Music itself is a strong media, it communicates feelings. It can influence the mood of our lives. Whether it is joy, serenity, excitement, melancholy, every emotion is included in the palette of music, and I believe all of us have experienced a specific feeling while listening to a particular song. Music “speaks” to parts of us that we have in common as human beings, regardless of sex, race, experience, knowledge, music education, tastes.
My intention here was to create some musical pieces that could bring the right state of mind to dance and have a pleasant moment together. It is not about control, it is about freedom. Freedom to relive certain feelings at any moments.
What is it about the genre of Science Fiction that interests you? Would you say it is something more rooted in an entertainent taste or something more theoretical?
I have been reading Science-Fiction novels since I was very young, alongside playing chess it is one of the passions I inherited from my father.
The first author I fell in love with was Isaac Asimov, I was completely astonished by the reach and extraordinary world he created around the characters like the ‘Mule’, R. Daneel Olivaw, Susan Calvin, Elijah Baley (Foundation series) or David Starr (Lucky Starr series). Anyhow my first Isaac Asimov’s book wasn’t a science fiction novel but the ‘Asimov’s New Guide to Science’, 575 pages (very small font!), 10 chapters talking about astrophysics and nuclear physics… I was around 10 years old and I never finished reading it.
Regarding genres, I’m more into the New Wave Science-Fiction. To me the theme of the abyss of the human brain looks much more interesting than the traditional ”outer space” concept.
“The greatest advances in the immediate future will take place not on the Moon or Mars, but on Earth; is the inner space, not the external one, which we have to explore. The only truly alien planet is the Earth” (from J.G. Ballard’s article “What is the Way for Inner Space?”).
I truly believe the world will be a very different place when we will start turning these words into reality.
What are some of your favorites Sci-Fi novels, films, authors, figures…?
Authors like mentioned above are Isaac Asimov, James G. Ballard, Phillip K. Dick as well as Arthur C. Clark, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, H. G. Welles, Frank Herbert, Stanisław Lem and Aldous Huxley are definitely my favorites.
I’m a fan of David Cronenberg, his movie ‘Videodrome’ was one of the most shocking discoveries of my youth and when I heard he was shooting “Crash” (taken from a novel of J. G. Ballard) I was expecting something extraordinary, it was more than that. Maybe it is already a movie of the third millennium.
“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” was also the inspiration for the original ‘Blade Runner’. Did you see the sequel? What are your (spoiler free) thoughts?
Of course I watched the sequel of ‘Blade Runner’ and I think it is a great movie. My favorite scene is the fight between Deckard and agent K while the holograms of Sinatra and Elvis are singing in the night club. For me that’s the most ”poetic” and suggestive moment of the script. I have to say there were many more of these kinds of moments in the first Blade Runner which still remains as my favorite between the two. Same for the soundtrack, Hans Zimmer is an incredible composer and the global result is merging perfectly with the atmospheres of the movie; anyhow, in my opinion, it is far from Vangelis immortal masterpieces.
Have you ever tried your hand at Sci Fi novels?
Sure, I have papers of drafts somewhere. There was a time when writing was almost a daily activity, I believe it helped me a lot to get to know a part of myself.
Finally, what work of science fiction do you think the modern world resembles the closest?
I believe we are currently living like the people in Ballard’s ”High-Rise”. The story describes the life in a building offering all the comforts of modern life: swimming pools, nursery, bank, hairdresser, sauna, restaurant, gym, supermarket and high-speed lifts. The building reflects the same division of the class of society: the simple workers at the low floors, the bourgeoisie in the middle, and the wealthy professionals in the luxurious apartments at the top.
Two thousand, in total, the inhabitants of the skyscraper having the same tastes and attitudes, the same style which was clearly reflected by the choice of cars parked around the skyscraper, in an elegant but standardized manner of furnishing the apartments, in the tone of their safe voices.
There is a big risk in such a way to organize the society but it is exactly what it is happening. During our evolution as a species, we have learned to dominate our impulses, but the more they are kept in control, the more they run the risk of exploding by nullifying all technological and social gains to return to the animal state.
It sounds very nihilistic but I don’t see this as a message of no hope. I’m positive in the end, I prefer to read the other text in the back: we can avoid the disaster by investing much more of our resources to go deeper in the knowledge of our nature and open a new season for the human being.
I believe that a ”true progress” for the human kind must, besides the technological discoveries, also include a better knowledge of our inner world.