St. Vincent is having a big Coachella. During her set at the festival’s opening day last night, she debuted a new live stage show that she’s calling “I Am A Lot Like You” after a lyric from her song “Sugarboy.” While it’s still very much a theatrical performance — there’s intense colored lighting and giant projections on a screen behind her — it’s not a one-woman show like the previous Fear The Future shows in support of last year’s excellent MASSEDUCTION album. This time, she was joined onstage by three musicians, two of them wearing masks, who served as her live backing band. “This is just like a blistering, disturbing rock show,” she said in a backstage interview Coachella’s official livestream.
But that’s not the only St. Vincent that fans are getting at Coachella this year. As Pitchfork reports, Annie Clark also composed the musical score for a “360 experiential” film premiering at the festival called Flatland: A Romance Of Many Dimensions. Directed by Justin Bolognino, it’s an adaptation of the 1884 satirical novella by Edwin Abbott Abbott, and it’s being screened in a giant projection dome on festival grounds. Per the project’s very abstract description:
Written pseudonymously by “A Square”, the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to comment on the hierarchy of Victorian culture, but the novella’s more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.
Rather than the narrator as “A Square” like in the classic, our protagonist now expands from the original Flatland Great Grid into a young Cube, who then discovers three new, previously hidden dimensions:
TIMELAND, MINDLAND, and VOIDLAND
The Cube uses the spherical perspective of the dome to tell an abstract story of discovery and expansion into TIMELAND, exploring this new, ever-complex, ever-beautiful, and ever-deep new realm of cubic possibility.
Morphing into a Pyritohedron during MINDLAND, the evolved form now merges and interacts with its more organic yet geometric environment, eventually becoming a world of fractal delight.
Anima, or “Soul” in Latin, becomes the final stage of our protagonist, who now can literally become its environment, changing form at will while dancing with spectral colors in VOIDLAND.
Returning back to source, a pure bath of UV light rounds out the show with a moment of transcendent bliss.
Watch clips from St. Vincent’s Coachella set and check out the trailer for Flatland below.