Obo Cocteau is a story based on the flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert's recording of "Cocteau" [from the CD La Semana, 2004], a pure fictional evocation of the composition's moody Moorish atmosphere... and associations made from OL's title.

Jean Cocteau [1889-1963] was a French poseur, poet, scenarist, artiste extraordinaire, friend and sometimes mentor of such luminaries as Picasso, Stravinsky, di Chirico and the musical group Les Six. This man did it all, including a period as an opium addict. His style & position within the dadaist/surrealist movement begs comparison with the proto-surrealist Alfred Jarry [1873-1907] whose famous play Ubu Roi is often cited as the true precursor of Theatre of the Absurd. Indeed, the iconoclastic Jarry invented a "logic of the absurd" called pataphysique.

The Surrealists adopted Ubu as the Joker in their famous deck of playing cards.

Like Cocteau, Jarry also used drugs as a source of hypnogogic imagery. Legend has it that he was found dead on a bed of straw with a ether cylinder at his side. So the title "Obo Cocteau" is a reinvention of Ubu Roi, following the spirit of these charming madmen.

OL's Cocteau has a deep, mysterious tone, like an opium den in perpetual night... or a hidden Moorish fortress where an imprisoned musician sends his melody across Time. The drone-line or urlinie pulls us into this strange world of contrapuntal melodies and cultures. The spacial architecture is superb, with ample space in the sound for these Arabian gypsy modalities. We float, we hallucinate... and wonder if this is reincarnation or the sleeping mind of a confirmed sinner.

the story: Obo Cocteau »»

*Obo Cocteau with audio »»

[if you have broadband, why not listen while you read?]

story: Lawrence Russell
graphics & design: Ottmar Liebert & LR
embeded audio: Ottmar Liebert