Beatrix Runs tells a story of wanderlust born from a troubled past, destructive relationships
by Kevin O’Neil, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Photo courtesy of typepad.com
Born in New York and raised in Russia as the daughter of diplomat parents, Elizaveta was immediately thrown into a life of international nativity; she immersed herself in music since age six, and in her current musical career makes a point of incorporating aspects of other cultures into her music, notably different languages. Her first major label album, “Beatrix Runs,” is a rather autobiographical collection of music, while the topic of romance is nothing new in the musical sphere, the way Elizaveta weaves her travel bound self and her polinguistic fluency into her music gives her status as an artist a profoundly enchanting virtue.
The story seems to begin with the album’s namesake, “Beatrix Runs,” a fast-paced song chronicling her outbreak from a confining home life, using the character of Beatrix as a more metaphorical approach to the subject. Elizaveta uses this anecdote to speak more broadly as well; she speaks of prescribed conformity of gender roles through the lines “Beatrix runs, because she feels / There’s a mire sucking at her heels / A grokking dress, waiting there / But good girls do what they’ve been told / And up ahead there’s a flash / It is done, she is gone.”
She uses the word “grokking,” an obscure word first coined in a 50-year-old science fiction novel, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” defined as “to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience.” By donning this dress, she’d be sucked into a societal mire from which she can’t escape, effectively disappearing from sight as she is so indistinguishable from the monochromatic masses; in all terms of personhood, be it friends, clothing, expression or otherwise.
The story peaks with the song “Snow in Venice,” taking place when she is traveling all over Europe for her music, but loneliness now haunts her; she fell in love once in the past, but now that she has a new nomadic lifestyle, she doubts that she will ever see her lover again. One of the ways she conveys this is through the lines “Maybe I’ll see you again when it’s snowing in Venice…” Those who know Italian climate would know that a great deal of luck would be involved to see even a single flake of snow in the city of Venice. It is basically a romance-flavored deviation of the popular adynaton “when pigs fly.”
Ending the story is the “Goodbye Song,” a bittersweet tune for a bittersweet breakup. This song is a simple thing, getting straight to the point, saying that there’s no need for any more romance, or justified pain, because their love has come to an end, either way. The one thing she wants her former lover to know is “please remember: I love you dearly / Although we have to part.”
Overall, Elizaveta’s “Beatrix Runs” is an excellent palette of tales and melodies to choose from for any with open ears.