Billy Corgan lived up to his promise by delivering an eight-hour set of ambient music inspired by Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha. The performance took place at Corgan’s Madame ZuZu’s Tea Shop in Chicago on Friday and was webcast live online. You can watch the replay below.
The performance saw Corgan soundtrack readings of Siddhartha with modular synth, creating ambient drones and glitchy electronics on the fly.
Written by Hesse in 1922, Siddhartha is a coming-of-age tale that covers “the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha.” Marked by its simple tone and minimalist language, the novel touches on everything from existentialism and transcendentalism to the Buddhist philosophy of Lebenskrankheit (“sickness with life”).
According to The Chicago Tribune (via Rolling Stone), a crowd of 40 gathered to watch Corgan’s performance in person. However, Corgan prohibited the Tribune from covering the event after taking umbrage with a critical piece written prior to the performance. Fortunately, Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin filled in, live tweeting the entire eight-hour performance.