ROBERT W. CHAMBERS CARCOSA 7″ READ BY ANTHONY D. P. MANN, SCORE BY CHRIS BOZZONE
“Lost Carcosa” variant edition – Coke clear with yellow swirl
Limited Edition – 100 copies Only
* Selections from the Robert W. Chambers collection, The King in Yellow
* Pressed on 150 gram vinyl
* Fold-over sleeve
* Art by Cadabra Records founder Jonathan Dennison
ONLY 2 LEFT
Selections from Robert W. Chamber’s The King in Yellow are voiced by Anthony D. P. Mann and scored by Chris Bozzone. When Cadabra Records previously delved into Chambers’ work, it was with the writer’s most famous work, “The Yellow Sign.” Here, however, we hear two excerpts from the lost play bookend The Prophets’ Paradise, and explore the world of Carcosa, that fabled ancient city where “shadows of men’s thoughts lengthen in the afternoon.”
“Cassilda’s Song,” in the words of Hildred Castaigne, demonstrates the “very banality and innocence of the first act” of the play, The King in Yellow, as Mann reads “Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed” over Bozzone’s guitar and violin. The very simplicity of the lines in each quatrain is meant to lure the listener into a false sense of security, as is the quietly relaxing music. No sense of menace is at all implied.
However, once the record moves into the eight pieces which comprise “The Prophets’ Paradise,” immediately, the listener knows that things have changed, and that we are moving into a world wherein things are not what they seem to be on the surface. The words will be opaque, nearly obscuring the true meaning of what lies behind them.
Carcosa will take the listener on a journey, wherein they explore the world, and meet several of its denizens – The Phantom of the Past, The Throng, The Jester, and The Clown, among others – with meditations upon blood, lamentation, death, and even the personification of Love itself. It is a brief, but tempestuous travel upon the waves of sound emitting from the speaker.
The music which accompanies Mann’s reading of Chambers’ words is no less diverse than the brief lines of each segment. “Sacrifice” contains lustrous streaks of violin foregrounding finger-picked guitar, while “Destiny” has liquid guitar chords. “The Jester” inverts the sound of “Sacrifice,” emphasizing the finger-picked guitar, with the violin in the background. As one of the speakers says in “The Studio,” which begins this journey, “the song is the same , the voice and steps have but changed with years.”
As the record comes to a close, we once again return to the play, and a brief excerpt from The King in Yellow’s Act 1, Scene 2 ends with single note upon the violin which rings long, bringing it all home as Chambers suggests that terror might not – as suggested at the outset – come disguised, but indeed, wear no mask at all.