Tarta Relena – Safo

Tarta Relenas Safo is a beautiful music video that relies heavy on video game aesthetic. Tarta Relana is a music duo from Catalan. There music relies heavily on complex vocal compositions with only a minimal instrumental accompaniment, many of their songs are interpretations of ancient poems and texts in various languages, among them even a rendition of pashtun songs translated to the catalan language. The musical realization is exquisit, and could be described as electrified art folk that might be influenced by the work of Meredith Monk.

The song at hand is a interpretation of the ancient greek poet Sappho, who became – along with her home island Lesbos – iconic for female same-sex love. The poem at hand is a dirge about the impossibility of a love that seemingly is hindered by the ruling circumstances – the pain above this burns the narrator who can only seek solace in the idea that the pair might be remembered in another time.

The video is realized in blender, clearly inspired by late 90s or early 2000s 3d-games; a first person character searches a way through a living but arid maze. There are abstract characters (possibly representing the beautiful, sweet aspects of the world as indicated by their names ending on „-glycos“ – sweet) who offer help, but also a giant, menacing Minotaur that towers above all. In a scene very reminiscent to elements of „Zelda: Ocarina of Time“ the Minotaur is attacked and defeated; from debris a statue of a lesbian couple is (re)constructed.

In combination the music and the video combine into a craving romanticism that is directed towards a past that couldn’t deliver on its promises – this kind of emotion is very prevalent in the art and culture since the 2010ths, and condensed into movements as retro gaming pastiches, vaporwave, hyperpop or parts of the japanese MAD-Culture. On the same time, the final sequence could be interpreted as a affirmation of both the accomplishments and the possibilities of political movements and change – as emphasis of a potential to break through the iterant suppressive capitalist reality.

Safo is a part of the duos album „Fiat Lux“. The whole album is great and available on Bandcamp.

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