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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

The Music of Tentacle

By novelist (and musician) Rita Indiana

Finally, this afternoon, finished reaching the short but dense and complex novel Tentacle by Rita Indiana (originally La mucama de Omicunlé), in a translation by Achy Obejas. I started it just over a month ago, and it’s the sort of book you read two chapters at a time, let them sink in, and then read some more.

Indiana is also a musician, and it shows on the page. There isn’t a heap of music in the book — there’s more contemporary art in this dystopian future — but when Indiana employs music in her story, as she does toward the novel’s end for a climactic party sequence, she locates a vibrant kinship between hybridized popular culture and the book’s more trenchant themes: Santeria, gender fluidity, and ecological collapse.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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