I recently came across an article on the Internet, criticizing the trend of adult blanket forts. The author used it as just one more example of the infantilization of millennials - of our seeming reluctance, unwillingness, or inability to "grow up.”
Maybe it's due to the uncertain world in which we've spent our entire lives with no safe, predictable or secure future to speak of. Or perhaps, on the brighter side, it's because we've updated our idea of what it means to be an adult, where we don't necessarily put away all of childhood's things.
Blanket forts are safe places - hidden, magical worlds where one is free to be one's self. They're a place for secrets, for play and games. It's a place to be yourself with your friends. Four Movements by San Marcos, Texas' Canopy, is the musical soundtrack for this secret, magical world. It's a folk symphony in four movements, recorded in and for a hand-sewn tent.
Four Movements started out as a senior thesis for an art school degree. Unsure of what to do or how to proceed, Canopy sewed together a big damn tent and put together some of the best people he knew. Once inside, they jammed for hours, eventually settling into the four movements that make up Four Movements.
Four Movements might've been recorded under a Big Top, but it might as well have been Abbey Road, so bright, golden and glowing do these recordings sound. Banjos and steel string guitars shine like polished metal, while a rich panoply of voices swirl together, midair, like some expressionist Gregorian chanting. Musically, Four Movements sounds a lot like symphonic, orchestral chamber folk outfits like Beirut or Sufjan Stevens, but even less precious, mostly due to a lack of lyrics. Instead, Canopy creates an open-ended symphonic meditation, to guide you into your own heart, your own mind, your own dreams and desires.
Considering how ferociously uncertain and competitive this world can be, it's no wonder we all need to feel safe and secure. Mostly, it's a myth, as we're definitely running with the wolves at this point in history. It's sink or swim - flourish and fly or fumble and falter. There is no middle ground, particularly in the creative industries.
Thankfully, Canopy have shown that they have what it takes, that they're up for the job. When life is unpredictable and unplannable, you've got to be up for the challenge. Your tools must be at hand and at the ready, and we must be willing and able to strike when the moment hits. Canopy did just that with Four Movements and were even able to capture the magic to share with us.
Enter the Big Top of your mind, and decide what kind of adult you want to be.
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