Well, this is weird. Six Organs of Admittance composed the soundtrack to a new novel by Joseph Mattson, Empty the Sun. The book comes with a CD slipped into the back cover or, for an extra five bucks, in a fancy big case with a vinyl edition, and you’re supposed to listen along while you read.
Ben Chasny, Six Organs’ only permanent member, plays with Steve Ruecker, who also appeared on Proem to Empty the Sun. (They’re a heliocentric bunch.)
Unfortunately, the book doesn’t seem to be any good. Dusted’s Bill Meyer notes that the writing is almost bad enough to be unreadable: “The problem is not with the story, which concerns a journey of atonement by a guitarist mired in alcoholism after losing a finger, but with the author’s affection for overwrought verbiage.” Which means it reads like a middle-schooler who’s really proud of his vocabulary. So it ought to be a perfect match for Chasny’s brand of navel-gazing guitar solos.
I, for one, have never heard of a cross-medium collaboration like this. Scoring soundtracks to movies is one thing, but adding music to literature is certainly novelty, but potentially even revolutionary. Is this the way of books of the future? Is this how print gets saved? Did Ben Chasny just make it cool to get high and read?
An excerpt from Empty the Sun and a brief music clip are available at the book’s website. There’s also a mysterious tab marked “Whisky,” so here’s hoping there’s an alcohol tie-in upcoming. Empty the Sun is available now on Barnacle Books and distributed by Drag City. [via Pitchfork]