Label: Geffen Records - 2GHS 2017 • Format: 2x, Vinyl LP Gatefold • Country: Canada • Genre: Stage & Screen • Style: Musical
The Heaviside Layer is a setting referenced throughout the musical, usually interpreted to be a heaven-like place of rebirth for cats selected by Old Deuteronomy. The Heaviside Layer does not physically appear in the show, and it is unknown if it is a metaphysical or otherworldly place within canon. The purpose of the Jellicle Ball seems to be to invite Old Deuteronomy to where the Jellicle Cats meet, all to ask him to choose one cat to go to the Heaviside layer.
In the end, Grizabella ends up being the one sent to the Heaviside Layer, as we see her ascent from either a levitating platform or floating staircase. The Heaviside Layer appears to be something that cats actively want to strive to go to eventually, particularly those of old age.
The Jellicle Ball, which revolves around the selection, is described to happen annually, when the "Jellicle Moon" shines Lyin Eyes - Various - Urban Cowboy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). Whether the Jellicle moon is a special kind of moon, or just what the moon is called by Jellicle cats is unknown. In an unpublished letter to a cohort, Eliot wrote about an idea he had for the ending of the book: "At the end they all go up in a balloon, self, Spats, and dogs and cats.
The Heaviside Layer is in reality an upper layer of the Earth's atmosphere which would have been very well known to The Journey To The Heavside Layer - Andrew Lloyd Webber - Cats. Oliver Heaviside was a contemporary of Eliot, and at the time, the distant Heaviside layer was evocative to the public because it enabled the first transcontinental radio, and resulted in a Nobel Prize.
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