From right where you are, to an attic in the woods in New Hampshire, to the farthest space at the edge of the universe, among the millions and billions of tiny dots of light, there are countless numbers of particles. All of them, swirling and whirling - none of them actually a point in space – yet, a wave of potential; shaking with quantum jitters which let’s no one know exactly where their paths will take them, or what their fate might bring.
Such is our lives: Not one point in space, but a wave of potential. And we all try, with fervent madness, to keep that wave from collapsing – the devastating collapse leaving our possibilities endless, no more. Here we meet a physicist whose life has collapsed. He sees no possibility in the world anymore, no more mystery in his future, no more quantum uncertainty on where he will end up. His life has reduced to one point in space, and all of this due to spending it obsessed over one thing: building a machine.
He knows he didn’t walk outside enough, he never married, never traveled, – he never had time for such a life. No - his was spent toiling over the creation of this machine that he determined could be his only hope. It was a seemingly perfect plan: If he could just get the math right, this machine could spin gravity in such a way that it would send him back in time; to the time before his possibilities evaporated into one unavoidable fate. Perhaps, he could go back and warn himself, to stop himself from spending life obsessing about this machine, the numbers, the past, and spend his life living in the present. To warn himself that all the things he was missing were at his fingertips the whole time.
Every person, like every particle, is victim to entropy - the natural flow of time’s arrow. And entropy, like an unyielding current, sweeps us downstream, and no matter how we fight to tread water, it is in vain. Perhaps our only refuge is to leave artifacts along the shore so that other passersby may see; as proof you were here. You have come and you have gone, like all will – yet, for that moment you were here. We all struggle, like the physicist, to find a way to climb out of the river, to walk along the shore, to maybe have a second chance to leave more along the journey. Yet for now, we are all bound to the water, leaving behind only what we can as we float by.
Miracle Parade could be the machine of a foolish person, a chronicled journey devoted to trying, in vain, to chase down a dream of living a life that was outside his door the whole time. Or, perhaps, it is an offering to the shore – a post stuck in the dirt, a document, a sum of all the potential, realized or not, left for others to see. For better or for worse it is a record of songs that didn’t exist before; written, sung, and played by Christopher Pappas – a musician, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. An obsessive artist; crippled by a childhood illness that left his neck fused stiff and his fingers crooked. A performer with a battling duality of introvert and extrovert, of trying to be all things to all people or to be nothing to anyone.
"Hark! …and Other Lost Transmissions" is not the story of this boy from New Hampshire, struggling to leave his footprints on the shore like a time capsule. Rather, it is the time capsule; the culmination of the obsessions, from first hearing the artists who would change his life; R.E.M., Crosby, Still, Nash, & Young, Nirvana, to recording his first songs at age 12 on his father’s tape machine, from sitting in his room teaching himself multiple instruments to filling multiple notebooks full of songs and ramblings. “Hark!”, like every record at its moment of release, is the finishing line of all that came before it, an ending point – a collapsed wave, an artifact on the shore.
Such a life: fortunate enough to be able to leave something for others to see on their way down the river, yet, perhaps, tragic enough to live it like an Escher painting; to waste it on finding a way to go back in time to keep yourself from wasting your life trying to find a way to go back in time.