Elizabeth Joan Kelly - “Music for the DMV”
Before you take a number, get your headphones ready and cue up this music. New Orleans classical ambient artist, Elizabeth Joan Kelly presents an album of multi-layered electronic compositions collected under the somewhat humorous title of Music for the DMV, noting in her album description that, much in the same way that Brian Eno made Music for Airports, she herself has made setting-specific music for a far less thrilling location - the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Prior to listening to this work, I was imagining slow, plodding dirges to accompany the interminable lines and gloomy atmosphere of the DMV, and was surprised by the myriad of styles and sounds that awaited me. Instead of the low, mournful drones I was picturing, I was greeted by Industrial Ambient Prelude, a MIDI piano track of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor (Opus 24, no. 4) re-imagined by Elizabeth Joan Kelly with modern beats and ghostly augmentations. Much of Kelly’s work here is comprised of famous classical compositions adapted to a shadowy futuristic style that is altogether refreshing. For instance, the trilogy of songs that are tracks three, four, and five - (Ambient Industrial Gymnopedie, Electropop Swimming Pool Gymnopedie, and Mysterious Grooving Gymnopedie,) are highly creative EJK reworks of the Gymnopédies by French composer Erik Satie. Each selection is adapted in a differing syle, as noted by their descriptive titles.
The end result of this digital collage of classical pieces with unique audio treatments is an artistic and detailed sonic work that one need not visit the DMV to enjoy. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to have business to conduct at the DMV, you might want to bring this album with you. The calming and intriguingly arranged music contained therin just might make your stay a little less unpleasant.