Billy Corgan Asks Kerouac Estate to Approve Modular Reading of ‘On the Road’

“What just happened?” asked a Billy Corgan fan at his Chicago teashop Madame Zuzu’s, as the Smashing Pumpkins frontman wrapped his daylong modular synth reading of the nearly century-old German book Siddhartha.

Corgan then explained how oscillators, microtonal pitches, and envelopes work, adding, “I used a lot of this on my solo album The Future Embrace, which no one bought.”

Ouch. At least the guy has a sense of humor, right? He’s also planning on revisiting yesterday’s analog audiobook path every couple months “despite howls of protest.” Not necessarily with Siddhartha either; Corgan put an open call out for suggestions on the Madame Zuzu’s Twitter account, and pledged to perform an experimental version of On the Road if the Kerouac estate lets him.

Watch Corgan meld Eliane Radigue-like waves of sound with not-so-subtle nods to Buddhism for eight hours straight below…