Connie Beckley: The Aquarium
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR756     Release Date: 1997-01-01
Connie Beckley, voice, electronics

The Aquarium series began with a walk in Chinatown. I had been standing on the sidewalk in front of the window aquarium of a Chinese seafood restaurant, looking through the aquarium at a woman inside the restaurant. I imagined her as part of the aquarium (perhaps an urban Ophelia?) and in my fantasy I thought of her, the fish, Chinatown, and all of New York as part of one big fish bowl, albeit surrounded by water rather than filled with it. I thought of all the so-called ordinary happenings I witness just in the course of a single day, and how, with a little bit of help from a metaphor, they can evolve into things quite extra- ordinary.

I thought of the many encounters I’ve had with people who seem to be merely going about their daily routines but whom I imagine as characters of myth and fantasy, like the neighbor whose apartment I can see from my window, but to whom I’ve never spoken. Or the young woman I encounter on the stairs of my apartment building who, like Alice in the rabbit hole, disappears downward every morning. I remember the subway commuter who tried to go against the flow of morning rush hour like a fish swimming upstream, and the old woman who raised her cane like an urban Moses and stopped a sea of construction on Broadway. I think about the two people at separate tables in a cafe who may have shared a fantasy of seduction when their coffee cups met on the waiter’s tray. And about the messages of desperation I overheard that were left and lost at a public telephone. And about my return home at the end of the day with an overwhelming longing for reassurance.

Then something extraordinary happened. The woman in the restaurant looked through the aquarium at me. And to her, I’m sure, I became one of the fish.
The Aquarium is not about the throbbing violence of The Big City. It is about searching for meaning within the daily routine of being in constant proximity to people with whom we have little or no interaction, but who provide the familiar “setting” for the crowded city. And while not a single mugging occurs in The Aquarium, a fear does emerge that is perhaps more unsettling to many city-dwellers—the fear of getting lost in the shuffle. But this piece is not about being afraid in the big city. It is about being in the city. Connie Beckley


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Connie Beckley

Connie Beckley: The Aquarium

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

The Aquarium: Dream Sequence
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: Two-way Mirror
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: Alice on The Stairs
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: A Fish Against The Flow
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: Time/Life
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: A Cushion on the Sill
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: Moses and The Bulldozer
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: The Ladies on Third
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: The Seduction at Dante's Cafe
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: Sunset, Again
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: The Aquarium
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: No Messages
Connie Beckley
Buy
The Aquarium: Edison Night
Connie Beckley
Buy

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