Ferris Bueller said a person should not believe in an ism, but occasionally one already believes in an ideal and just doesn't have a name for it. In my case, it appears I've been a steampunkist for a couple years now.
I'd always kind of turned up my nose at Steampunk as a fiction genre, because I didn't care for alternate history and the authors best-known for writing Steampunk were the types I always considered purveyors of techno-porn; I'm simply not interested in all the gears and gadgets. But maybe the time just wasn't right for me. Maybe the movement just needed time to evolve out of prose fiction and into an aesthetic. At any rate, after researching the links for my last post I found myself feverishly surfing for examples of glowing glass, brass, and leather.
(It deserves saying that my husband and I were already leaning in a direction that might be considered steampunk in the look we were designing for our house: rich wall colors, lots of wood shelves and cabinets built-in, pigeonholed storage and so on. But now with the SP bringing out his old metalworking tools and cutting holes in sheets of nickle and brass, suddenly a whole new medium for crafting and decorating has opened up for me.)
Eventually my travels led me to Abney Park. No, not the cemetary in England, the band. They dress like airship pirates from a Wells/Verne novel and they weave techno rhythms and Middle-Eastern wails through their music. It's just damn cool. They've sampled bits from a number of diverse sources and come up with something utterly original that feels like a sound I've been waiting for my entire life. Yes, I am drooling like a fangirl, but just last week I was trolling for a soundtrack to kick-start my Trace writing again, and it seems I have found it.
Here's their MySpace page. Start with "Stigmata Martyr." I'm gonna go scour the antique stores.