Pushing away from the void

Here is another work in progress demo of the Cosmic Amanuensis project.

So we are working towards a performance at the Createworld though ultimately we hope to do more performances with this setup.  I’m going to be making the drones and Scott Baker will be working the visuals.  This will be quite different to my previous audio-visual collaboration, N4rgh1l3, as we have a direct-causal relationship established between sound and image via a Syncronator box.  The Syncronator adds video sync pulses to the audio I send it, disguising it as a composite video signal which Scott will further process through camera feedback and video processing software.

Remnant of a larger monolith.
Gateway to the future

Currently struggling to keep the blues away.  It’s oppressively hot here in Brisbane, Australia right now and the choice is pretty much air-conditioning or hit the rainforests (which are about 1hr away).

Of course I could hit the pool but my pale english skin doesn’t cope so well with extended exposure.

Anyway – I wanted to point to something interesting in this section…

SAW 2 33 1/3
SAW 2 33 1/3

Marc Weidenbaum, curator of the disquiet blog, has contributed an analysis of Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II to the 33 1/3 series.

Anyone who has listened to or made ambient music in the last 2 decades should have heard SAW 2 – it’s like the holy grail and remains surprisingly fresh and modern sounding.

Not only did it influence my musical tastes, it reflects a lot of similar predilections compositionally.

  • The use of simple morphing repetitive figures – “Repetition is a form of change” – Brian Eno / Oblique Strategies.
  • Filtering of sounds to creating blurring indistinct blobs of sound as opposed to note clusters.
  • Use of loops as rhythm and percussive sounds as counterpoint.
  • Use of images in place of title tracks.
  • A conflation of childhood nostalgia with alternate states of consciousness.
  • Application of dream logic and chance as compositional factors (in interviews at the time of release Richard D. James described a practice of lucid dreaming as the primary compositional tool.)

Reflecting on this while listening to the SAW2 album the other day I thought about how much the material i’m making as Makrotulpa and the material I’ve made with Diaspora matches these principles.

It reminded me that I should not be so distracted by projections of what might be more challenging, more listenable, more likeable.  I’m quite happy with my approach and hope that my continued development of it will ultimately produce music that stands the test of time as well as SAW 2.

Marc is running through all of the tracks from SAW2 over the next 25 days until the release of his book and his posts are well worth checking out.

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