Play of the Day: Clockwork Orchestra – “Mummer”

Clockwork Orchestra is a quirky electronic band led by Irish oddball Mango. His songs sound something like broken toys, miserable old men, vintage children’s TV shows, rotting fish, burning plastic and digital clown nightmares.

Clockwork Orchestra is a blueprint citrus symphonic. Hailing from Dublin with a sound hearkening to a soundtrack of life cinematic – think one part Alexander McQueen, one part Arthur Burgess, and a heavy dose of clockwork quirk.

McQueen said of Scotland’s hard dealt cultural hand that the country “is marketed the world over as . . . haggis . . . bagpipes. But no one ever puts anything back into it;” so he romanticized nationalism and begat the Tartan collection – plaid as the second coming of Scotland’s Pandora: the beauty to balance the bagpipe. Burgess said of his title A Clockwork Orange it represents “… an organic entity, full of juice and sweetness and agreeable odour, being turned into an automaton.” Clockwork Orchestra gives Ireland a romanticized soundtrack to which they can toast – along with the “8:13am Tuesday” Toast, the “I Crossed the Cobblestone and Huzzah, Found Another Pub” Toast, and the “Shut Up – That’s Why I’m Drinking at Confession… Ye Muttonhead” Toast. Their sound builds from antiquated instrumentation, and fleshes it out into beautiful fruition; sonically unfolding a simply structured, but subtly stunning aural cinematic scape… music that makes one’s day-in-the-life worthy of display. It sounds turn of the century, with tones of an industrial revolution; but works in Burgess-reverse, softening the factory standard, and finding the pulse beneath the machine.

The video for “Mummer” really is a stunning motion snapshot, evolving and emerging from the ground up… a stop motion masterpiece built on snapped visual staccato and juxtaposing imagery, a live action exercise in exposing the beauty in still life. The aural undertones act as architects to the video, and the visuals take subtle lead – the tandem works well, as the music resembles a well crafted soundtrack. If Burgess-McQueen is the sound, Technicolor Jacques Copeau and Étienne Decrouxare are the sight. The mime is brilliant in a basic way; Grace Kelley moves with the scenes, and exudes a sense of fluid fragmentation in her movements. She creates color – candles shedding light, producing necessity and whimsy, flowers and trees coming to fruition, as much as balloons and beanstalks in progression from reality to actualized aspirational fantasy; in the midst of monochromatic atmosphere and garb she immerses herself in color, loses the paint, reveals a clean pure palette adorned with stars and glitter. The human transcends their current condition, breaking beyond the physical through the art of their life’s work. The mime need not say a word; as Kelley lives the lyrics, as Clockwork Orchestra conducts a symphonic dialogue void of words, while vibrantly crafting a sonic second world – Irish orchestration, German direction, English mummery by title blended with French infusion of naturalist physical theatre by style: welcome to the Euro new world, mum.

Watch This Space: A touch of misunderstood Britain, a taste of the organic beneath the manufactured, set upon the metronome of “always on, slightly off…” – just like a clockquirk orchestration…

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