new york

Industrial Symphony #1

brooklyn academy of music

Artists who traffic in dreams run the risk of confusing profundity with silliness. Dream motifs too often degenerate into hackneyed psychobabble. David Lynch’s films, such as Eraserhead, 1978, and Blue Velvet, 1986, have resolved the problem by joining logic and illogic, thereby conjuring disorienting truths out of the most banal dream elements. For Industrial Symphony #1, his live presentation that kicked off the New Music America Festival, Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti created a large-scale operatic dreamscape that combined goofy, cartoonlike characters and actions with a deadpan theatrical conviction that never wavered in its sincerity. It’s precisely the triteness of Lynch’s imagery—dozens of baby dolls, a floating angel in a ’50s prom dress, a naked woman running around in a panic, a demonic midget—that made the performance so persuasive. As orchestrated by Lynch to Badalamenti’s

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