Music & Video Review: Spaghetti Eastern Music Returns to Orbit with New Maxi-single “Blues for A Lost Cosmonaut”

Music & Video Review by Dawoud Kringle

Sal Cataldi's Spaghetti Eastern MusicSpaghetti Eastern Music, the ongoing project led by guitarist/ composer / improviser / producer / polymath / MFM member Sal Cataldi has done it again. This single, titled Blues for a Lost Cosmonaut, is an exploration of emotions evoked by a look back into the infancy of manned space flight.

Cataldi’s guitars glide and dance in and around the landscape he creates with his synthesizers. The piece has a dreamy rubato feel, combined with the haunted F minor tonality, well-balanced combination of timbres, melodic counterpoints, and motif invention. It is as beautiful as a well-tended garden, and as seductive as a courtesan in an opium den.

The video for Blues for a Lost Cosmonaut compliments the music beautifully. It shifts back and forth between a plethora of images from the late 50s – early 60s Soviet space program, fractal art, and clips from what is obviously an old Soviet era science fiction movie (nothing ages faster than science fiction!).

Those among the readers who are American boomers will doubtless recall the emotional state of the Cold War. Two superpowers capable of annihilating all life on earth were staring each other down, in constant competition, and in fear of what the other might do.

Yet, the space race produced some lasting gains for all humanity. Consider what the Soviet space program accomplished: first artificial satellite, first man in space, first woman in space, first space walk, first unmanned probe to land on another planet, etc. And personally, I salute and respect anyone brave enough to strap themselves in a metal can with hundreds of tons of explosives under them and enter an unknown and extraordinarily dangerous and unforgiving place. Especially men like Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard; who were the first to do this, with no way of knowing what they were entering.

The fear, danger, and wonder of what was happening was a new and unprecedented experience for human beings. Cataldi has masterfully captured the inner zeitgeist of this significant moment in history and distilled it into a nine-minute audio / video experience that invokes the spectacle of the infinity of the cosmos, and humanity’s place in it.

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