Peter Compo Reorients Our Notions of Familiar Creative Works on “Blade Runner 32” and his album Films.

Peter Compo’s arrangement of electronic sounds and informal rhythms on “Blade Runner 32” feel more like they were crafted for a sound design piece rather than a traditional song. The melancholic, drawn out drones that warp by and fade in the beginning give a sense of movement and as the soundscape blooms into multiple streams of bright sound and a more enveloping sound palette there is an unmistakable sense of wonder at a new world that seems darkly enigmatic. The title obviously references the 1982 science fiction film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? While we often think of Rick Deckard as the only Blade Runner, one of the specially trained agents of the police force tasked to track down and “retire” rogue androids, he’s one of a crew as revealed more fully in the 2017 cinematic sequel Blade Runner 2049. Blade Runner 32 suggests music for a day in the life of another member of that Blade Runner corps. Thus the vague sense of menace and the sharp bleeps echoing as points of stimulation in a dystopian landscape and the drones as symbols of centers of activity and the haunting, large, intrusive advertisements that dominate many public spaces, impossible to ignore. In the context of Compo’s 2021 album Films, this song is a the audio equivalent of a cinematic experience with complex elements arranged in a way that creates emotional resonance employing the aesthetics of film rather than music but using sounds to attain that goal. Thus there is also a “Blade Runner 23,” a “The Year of Living Dangerously,” “North By Northwest” and even “Star and Other Wars.” Compo is inviting us to hear his own interpretation of these films and to perhaps to transform our own emotional resonances with familiar works of art. It’s a subtle but subversive approach to culture jam and remix what we think we already know. Listen to “Blade Runner 32” on Spotify where you can follow the links to hear the rest of Films for yourself and connect with Compo on his website linked below.


Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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