31.10.17

the raw sun

musically i am in a void filled with the great warm Nothing.
warm like a pile of dried leaves which we crush,
or perhaps the fluff from an out-turned childhood pillow.

i wake up in the middle of the night just after my soul is sucked through my skin -
i open a window and a crackling fire of ice enters my lungs.

exhaling smoke.

🌕
       __


with tenderness i go finding and seeking
finding less than sought
seeking more than found;

days filled with fiery sunshine
strange hurt i knew
that made
me seek the burning sunlight
rather than the shade

in months of snowy winter
when cozy houses hold, i'd break down doors
to wander naked in the cold

(paraphrased, langston hughes)



egon schiele, house with bell tower, 1912


🌕
                                   __

i

acknowledge my temporality
rest my head
look into animal eyes
touch my skin
remember the soul

speak a word

revert to purposeful

purposeless
-ness

🌕


UZEDA - "right seeds"
4, 1995

italian noise rock
incredible female vocals

 

RACHMANINOFF - piano sonata no. 2, op. 36

one of the greatest russian works performed
by one of the greatest hungarian pianists

r.i.p. 
 

DUSTER - "constellations"
stratosphere, 1998

 'neath my blanket fortress i caress the soft outline of your memory

...or something like that



LIGETI - études, book 3: no. 16. pour irina

 

🌕
                              __

you'll find rain better
than shelter from the rain



23.10.17

the breakthrough has arrived.

i was waiting for it - just as i was waiting for the moon to appear on my horizon. tonight i have seen it, a crescent suspended in a pale purple blue.

with the great rains a new clarity has been achieved in me; as i trudge through rushing rivers of run-off in the streets, as i make my way through the city on paths of wet, deep mud, my step quickens. my heart feels entirely awake. my eyes are truly open. i see what is around me; i feel what i am.

FINALLY.

all i can say is finally, finally, finally!, and:

thank you. thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

,

the only thing that makes sense, the only mindset or attitude, is humility.

i cannot conceive of living this life with anything else in the heart.

the respect and gratitude i speak of is in no way related to morals, ethics, or religious codes. it is not human-made; it could never be.

i speak of the respect that is made manifest in the rushing rivers and the winds which blow through the trees, over mountain tops, the respect which is woven in the very fabric of this Universe. humility is written in the very DNA of Nature, however cruel or ruthless.

with each breath i want to acknowledge the beauty of all i am able to see and all that i am unable to see - that unending realm of mystery which underlies our every thought and experience, those worlds which lie beyond and beneath and inside each particle of matter.

/

what am i even talking about?

i just feel happy. i feel something that isn't happiness, it's more and so much more than even that. with each thought i want you to double the meaning, with each emotion intensify it threefold - extend the possibilities beyond the possible, deeper than the depths, higher than the highest height.

i no longer want to simply accept.

i can CREATE.

i can BUILD.

i am not powerless.

i never was.

4.9.17

ideally infinite

learn from the lessons you have already been taught.

nurture the memory of your past victories.

music and the design of brain
. . .

the music i gravitate towards seems to revolve around an axis, though not always symmetrically on all sides; there are always cycles, naturally-occurring and inherently repetitive. i think the prime inspiration of some music is the commonality of our bodies' respective homeostases; perhaps there is even a more overarching generalization to be made, one to include all life forms:

that all beings experience stability, both at microcosmic and broad social levels, and that echoes of these concealed processes registered in conscious existence draw us to sounds which entice us toward meditation and introspection.

(this at least applies to me, overly-analytical and sonically-sensitive fuckmonkey that i am.)

there is music that imitates this regular, beating heart existence - that which both you and i share - though the experience of our own sounds and systems are often clouded by noise and static. maybe all of music, or at least rhythm, brings us back to the breathing and beating of the beasts that we are. i know house music has made claims to this - the rhythmic continuity of such music in a public space can provide a safe, belonging feeling as though a larger organism made up of strangers is merging to the same rhythm.

example one of repetitive introspection is this track from texas-based windsor for the derby's 1996 album minnie greunzfeldt ~

"stasis"
young gods records



some music, however, calls back to a historical past and is also free from overt rhythmic usage.

here we arrive at the following composer:

ellen arkbro 

. . .


i am not sure how i came across ellen, a stockholm-based sound artist, composer, and musician, but her latest full-length, for organ and brass, has completely mesmerized me as of late.

is it the fact she studied tuning techniques with la monte young and marian zazeela? is it because this piece was recorded on and composed for a 400+-year old german organ? or is it because i am recently finding out about the wonders of just intonation and this piece entered my ears at precisely the right moment when i was becoming completely exasperated with what felt like a limiting spectrum of sound that i was faced with at my equally-tempered keyboard?

( thoughts on just intonation / equal temperament (what even is the difference between tuning and intonation?) are to follow; it is still a completely new world for me. with that said, i have been a worshipper of la monte young's five-hour long well-tempered piano for years now - as have many. that work is nigh unbeatable in scope, scale, innovation, and impact. it must be noted that young was also a disciple of still older musical traditions.

and so it continues. )

hidden within the harmonic framework of the renaissance organ are intervals and chords that bare a close resemblance to those found in the modalities of traditional blues music ~

the brass instruments and the organ fall into patterns of interaction in which a new breathing instrument emerges ~

ellen arkbro 
"for organ and brass"
subtext records, 2017



and then there is music which seeks to imitate the known functions of the brain utilizing patterns and feedback loops between humans and technology.

the very day that i choose to write on this particular subject i am graced with the presence of an incredible young composer of electronic and experimental music -

caterina barbieri


repetition and ideally infinite permutation of patterns as media to perceptual insight ~

. . .

her latest work, patterns of consciousness (important records, 2017), is an utter masterpiece.

composed via "disciplined and exclusive use of machinery (an indexed quad sequencer and an harmonic oscillator)" (source), these four tracks contain sound which definitively synthesize new states of consciousness.

she is as much a philosopher as composer, as much an amateur neuroscientist (as any decent human ought to be) as a mystic, and i am incredibly impressed and inspired by the depth of her analysis regarding her own work ~

sound as an agent of change
a pattern creates a certain state of consciousness. once it is created, the pattern stands as an object exactly like the sound waves which generate it. we are at the same time inside and outside of the object. while being it, we observe it.
over time we become familiar with the inner structure of the pattern. we decode its gravitational centres, where our psycho-motor attention is attracted, where everything seems to be drawn. when a change in the pattern occurs it causes a perturbation of the previously established field of forces.
this causes consciousness to fracture, potentially unfolding layers of perceptions we weren't aware of or simply suggesting that we access only a fraction of our own psychic potential.
the layered nature of consciousness and the relativity of perception are some of the big secrets we can experience through sound.

can sound synthesise new patterns of consciousness?


in patterns of consciousness, repetition and permutation of patterns are explored as tools to reconfigure perceptions and bend emotions, approaching sound as a medium to develop and master our own perceptual art.

^ taken from the liner notes ^

there are four tracks on the album, which may be streamed on her youtube channel. while it is difficult to pick a favorite, the one i shall show you is the one which initially drew me in to the world of the album.

"scratches on the readable surface"
version 1


"SOTRS"
version 2 (❤)



i feel heavily inspired upon hearing this work, but am admittedly even more thrilled by the writings which accompany the album - i feel as though this is one more signpost on the way towards the total musical and metaphysical realization i've been aching for my whole adult life (and the vision is constantly being shaped by others and the world).

the bell is only truly rung once out of a thousand strikes. but when those vibrations sink in, i can go on humming for a long time. ideally infinitely.

it is funny to note that caterina barbieri did a dissertation on la monte young and hindustani music, which is the exact intersection of world and sound which interests me.

. . .

difficult to not include here is another work by caterina composed collaboratively with kali malone ~

"glory (final movement)"
composed at EMS in stockholm 2015
recorded at villa strozzi in florence 2016

the final movement of glory is a slowly evolving canon for two electric guitars and spectral freeze inspired by polytempic canons, modality and overtone-centered harmony ~

its pristine and severe patterns pour monumental landscapes of bliss from the pythagorean region of the harmonic spectrum ~


this piece also caught my attention because of the heavy and satisfying drone used, as well as the glorious overtones; the jangly and high-tenor tone of the guitars; and the interplay of the two as one and separate - it reminds me a lot of popol vuh! all that delicious space.

kali's solo work is definitely worth checking out as well; she is in many projects (including shoegaze band swap babies).

please enjoy the undulating beauty of this guitar work.

. . .

i think in most of my independent research i am constantly looking for inspiration, listening out for the sound which i've heard before but is being presented in a completely new and invigorating light - all while already inwardly knowing. is what i'm really looking for just an outward affirmation of the known? why would i not be content with following my own instinct through to its fullest potential?

last year it was steve reich and piano phase music, the year before (and still continuing into today) it was post-hardcore and punk and other such band music that utilized interlocking and repeating bass + guitar + drum patterns. this year, i think, i am finally happening upon the glaring obvious - synthesizing (what a fantastic word, that) the disparate musical and philosophical and cultural and spiritual and scientific practices into one combined being.

to live is to be involved in countless processes which are simultaneously running at their own pace, by their own devices. what if sound really can be (and already has been) used to both imitate/reflect and affect the listener? at a level deeper than just the emotional?

seems like i'm the last one to know about this... but perhaps i've just been skirting around it this whole time, for whatever reason. it's worth endless thought and experimentation. why not?

why can't we know try to know more about ourselves and the way we operate through art?

is not art an old word for to be?