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?

1.8.17

août

i am becoming even more enamored than i thought i would be with this album:

don caballero - what burns never returns (1998)



it's full of indescribably beautiful moments. it was the first album recommended to me but upon hearing just a bit of the first track i thought i didn't like it.

welp, i was wrong.

.

IT'S AUGUST!

that means it's the month of my birthday.

.

i'm currently working on a personal website that will have in one place all of my artistic and business ventures.

i am not entirely sure how much to include and/or leave out, seeing as i might be using it to network with potential employers and whatever, buuuut... i kind of just want to be as real as i possibly can and not care whether it's a turn off, turn on, or anything like that.

i have to be me, all me, or nothing at all.

.

potential projects (in no particular order):

- learn brahms' first piano concerto
- finish beethoven's piano sonatas nos. 24 & 26
- finish ravel's le tombeau de couperin (prelude, fugue, and minuet nearly done; forlaine just starting)
- record and release CD of my current piano works (as a present for my loved ones)
- compile and release field recordings (on my own label)
- make a zzzine (first need typewriter and/or stable printing set-up)
- MOVE TO NEW CITY (beginning steps already underway as i type this oh god there is so much stuff... no matter how many times i try to cleanse the pile of extremities)
- finish website

/fin

p.s. it's really hard to, you know, do things

27.7.17

for respect

does art distract from nature?



and by art i mean the artistic pursuit, which seems to contain acts of:

framing,
capturing,
preserving,
and emulating

;

in these the beauty of nature ( what is sensed ) is often praised and illuminated.


however, i feel it necessary to disclaim, to myself if to no one else, that i believe:

nature ( here meaning what lies outside of ourselves ) - all that we have been given to see, taste, touch, smell, hear, and imagine - is already "perfect"* in its raw form,

and to pursue one of the acts mentioned above out of the inspiration nature so freely gives is and can only ever be secondary, lesser - by any conceivable fraction and still lesser - than the rawness of that which has already been well underway in the fulfillment of cyclical existence long before and outside of us.

* i believe it is a profane act to insist that anything we ( humans ) might add to what was here before us, that signifying what created us and all that we see, could ever improve its intrinsic value or quality. perhaps even to attribute a word to what it is is in and of itself a defilement. as long as we understand the frailty of human speech in the giant macrocosmic picture...

i'm not entirely sure why i sound almost religious about this, but for some reason these sentiments resonate deep inside me as truth.


now, this does not mean to disparage that other wellspring of inspiration and invigorating mystery - that of the human soul which has the ability, unlike any other organism, to frame, capture, preserve, and emulate that which it senses. not only can the human see what surrounds it but he/she/it can attribute meaning, expound upon and link together flickering memories triggered by what is seen. we can create unique abstractions originating deep in the psyche, deep in the well of experience which has grown ever deeper since that first moment of awareness.

what exists of ourselves that remains from past lives, past experiences of life, i cannot say with certainty, nor can i attempt to estimate what percentage of our selves was already colored at our birth by what was experienced before even the blackness which preceded the life we live now.


i do not believe humans are lesser, or inferior, than the natural world from which we were born.
clearly we are of it and consist of the same material, undergo the same processes of growth and decay.

all i advocate for, with the utmost intensity,

is a genuine respect.

a reverence.

a sense of wonder and gratitude.

not for a humanoid being, but for the sheer vastness in which we are suspended.

for the systems in place, that have been in place, which produce such intricate work, such intricate hierarchies and manifestations of growth that we have been given - there is no better word that i know of to use here - to imbibe.


i suppose a lot of this passion comes from a feeling that many humans wish to separate themselves from the body - the flesh which encases the brain which encases a desire to expand at an exponential rate.

we are delving ever further into the universe of technology, that synthetic promise of unnaturally long life, the synthetic preservation of data and memory.

technology is beautiful as it is the seemingly-infinitely complex manifestation of an ever-advancing brain.

but i cannot let the majesty of the ocean, or the sky, or the mountain ranges, or even the other galaxies, which are so much bigger - in size, at least - than ourselves, become forgotten.

perhaps it is not an inherent human trait to find this life beautiful.

perhaps it is a trait which is being weeded out.

perhaps too many suffer from imposed trivialities and the majority has too little time to experience appreciation.

one can hope that we won't be swallowed up by the neverendingly abysmal prison of our greed.

if i indeed have been given a choice, it is to be swallowed up instead by the glorious infinity whence i came.

DON CABALLERO - FOR RESPECT (1993)


i am finally getting into this band after knowing about them and being totally psyched about them based on what i had heard from multiple sources but I WAS FAR TOO LATE, I WAS SO LATE.

i started with the below album, american don, and thought it was one of the greatest things i have ever heard (think of the interplay of musical lines found in steve reich's phase music mixed with the glitter of rothko mixed with the intensity of unwound) - the track "the peter criss jazz" @ 4:43 being a definite highlight.

BUT MY GOD... the above album, their debut, for respect, is EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER WANTED! it is purely instrumental and relatively short. it isn't quite as advanced in form as american don but it is the bare bones of everything one could expect from math rock bordering on the highly experimental. nothing of this is by the books, if there were even any books at this time... i really really like "subdued confections" @ 16:27 and the track "well built road" @ 29:37 is utterly goddamn beautiful.

once again, 1993 produced a gem of a gem of a gem :D

DON CABALLERO - AMERICAN DON (2000) 





Ahora
a buscar pájaros!