Existential Genius: Cosmograf’s HAY MAN DREAMS

Cosmograf, THE HAY MAN DREAMS (Cosmograf Music, 2017).  

Professor Birzer’s grade: A.

hay man

Having grown up on Great Plains of North America, surrounded by grazing horses, big skies, and farms, that guy that hangs out on a big kind of crucifix in the fields of wheat was always, to me, a “Scarecrow.”

And, that really, really scary Batman villain, Dr. Jonathan Crane, is also a “Scarecrow.”  He’s creepy in Bruce Timm’s animated Batman, but he’s downright demonic in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.

When I first saw the title of Robin Armstrong’s latest Cosmograf masterpiece (and, yes, this IS a masterpiece) HAY-MAN DREAMS, I had no clue what the album would be about.  After all, Armstrong loves existential themes of isolation, alienation, and timelessness.  When I first saw the title, I just assumed the album would be about a farmer who cultivates hay.  Maybe some lonely old guy who couldn’t figure out the modern world.  I knew that Armstrong would do something wild with it, but I didn’t know what.  Hay man?

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Soundtracks and Dark Knights


Does anyone have any idea how to categorize movie soundtracks?

Certainly, by its very nature, prog is cinematic, often eerily so.  But what about actual sound tracks?  Do soundtrack composers–aside from Trevor Rabin–think of themselves as classical artists?  Rock?  Or, are soundtracks their own strange genre?

Why do I ask, you ask.

Since BATMAN BEGINS first came out in the theaters, I’ve regarded it as one of my two or three all-time favorite movies.  It didn’t beat out my favorite, Hitchcock’s ROPE, but it came really close.  In fact, I liked it so much, that I never quite made it through THE DARK KNIGHT, as I felt that second movie undermined everything the first accomplished.

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