A Man Disappeared Once

Kirk Pearson

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Released Jan 03, 2014
Plays 20.3K
Downloads 12.5K
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The songs in this album are licensed under: CC BY-NC-SA Please check individual tracks for their respective licensing info.
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Louis Le Prince was a French inventor who, in 1888, recorded the first ever continuous motion picture. The film wasn't much, a few seconds of footage filmed in the town square of Leeds, but gifted Le Prince the title of "the mechanical king" back home. On the evening of September 16, 1890, Le Prince boarded the express train to Paris in route to patent his invention. As the train stopped the following morning, both the man and his luggage had vanished from his sealed compartment. As far as the legal records go, Le Prince was never seen again. Some insist he was murdered by an ex-lover. An even more persistent theory is that Thomas Edison orchestrated his kidnapping, so he could take credit for the motion picture (which he did). His son insisted that Le Prince, a bit of a recluse, had spoken of a “perfect suicide,” where an individual could dematerialize and become public mystery. As society forgot his name, Le Prince would live on and keep slowly gifting his inventions to the public. This was, of course, far before the advent of the World Wide Web; an invention beyond the wildest dreams of even Louis Le Prince. In the early 2000s, as private collectors started uploading vast photo archives, a few history fanatics started noticing strange appearances of an all-too familiar face. He not only appears in a police photo of a drowned man, but as a spectator of a lecture delivered by Albert Einstein, as a man performing microbial tests in a New York laboratory and as a traveling salesman in southeast India. The photos were not only taken after his death, but up to seventy years following. If one believes the man in question is indeed Le Prince, history would suggest he lived at least two hundred years; perhaps even longer. I don’t intend to prompt further conspiracy about the story, but rather used the urban legend as a backdrop for a larger narrative. Le Prince, the “mechanical king,” is a case study for what happens when people go missing. We may not have his personal belongings, but we still have his films, his invention and his image. Le Prince created a virtual system of immortality. This theme of disappearance is nothing new to the musical medium. This is an EP about lost places, people and time: a narrative story of the place that lost things go. Each piece in this album tells a fragment of an larger narrative-- puzzle pieces of an incomplete story, if you will. Thus, the tracks may be listened to in any order you desire. We sincerely hope you have as much fun listening to this music as we had making it.