It was a little strange, to say the least, driving into work this morning knowing that in a few short hours, New Jersey and nearly the whole United States would experience a period of total (albeit momentary) darkness for a few hours today, Monday, August 21st. I'm of course, talking about the Total Solar Eclipse, which will obscure roughly 76.9% of The Sun at 2:44 pm here in South Jersey and will experience various shades of darkness until about 4:00 pm. According to The Smithsonian's Solar Eclipse app, The Eclipse will make its first point of contact in Oregon in about three hours and will last for approximately 2 minutes and 43 seconds in any given area across The United States and Greater North America. If you, like my co-workers, family, and friends and myself, were unable to attain a coveted pair of Solar Eclipse viewing glasses, you can still view The Eclipse by making a a home-made Box Pinhole Projector; you'll just need a a long cardboard box or tube, scissors, duct tape, aluminum foil, a pin or a thumbtack, a sharp knife or paper cutter, a sheet of white paper, and a little elbow grease and ingenuity. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Philly rapper-producer and one-time Das Racist affiliate Lushlife (AKA Raj Haldar) has teamed up with Austin-based Instrumental Hip-Hop and Electronic music producer Botany to form an appropriately-titled collaborative project called Skull Eclipses.
Lushlife & Botany have recruited Ghostly International-signed harpist Mary Lattimore to assist on their debut release, "Totality Piece" sub-titled "a musical composition for viewing of the solar eclipse." Skull Eclipses strongly suggest you download a "Totality Piece" MP3 by entering your email address on their site, cue up the track at the exact moment the Solar Eclipse comes into view in your area, and "ascend to the Alam al-Mithal. Ascend! Human! Try! To! Ascend!" Haldar recently told Philly's non-profit radio station The Key (WXPN) "the project with Botany will bear more fruit as the coming weeks progress, but in the meantime, plan to hit play on the below Soundcloud link at 2:44 pm in Philly for a truly cosmic viewing and listening." Pitchfork further details that "radio stations across the country, including Philly's WXPN and Austin's KUTX, will be broadcasting the track live, as the eclipse reaches its maximum [coverage] in their respective cities." Lushlife recently unleashed his politically-minded MY IDOLS ARE DEAD + MY ENEMIES ARE IN POWER (Idols + Enemies) mixtape benefiting the ACLU, as well as a rather jarring cover of Grizzly Bear's "Foreground." Skull Eclipses producer Botany, on the other hand, most recently released Raw Light II on his Bandcamp page and harpist Mary Lattimore's latest release with keyboardist Elysse Thebner Miller, And The Birds Flew Overhead is currently available on Thrill Jockey/Footfalls Records, as well.
"As we prepare for a rare Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, the band Skull Eclipses are releasing their first public recording described as: a "through-composed experiential piece designed to soundtrack and seamlessly follow the 2-minute 40-second totality of the solar eclipse." Featuring harpist Mary Lattimore, the composition, entitled "Totality Piece," is available for download on their website until the 21st. Skull Eclipses is a brand new project from Spencer Stephenson (Botany) and Raj Haldar (Lushlife)."
- Skull Eclipses