Saturday, March 17, 2012

Direct Perception

While creativity is joy in prolonged effort, it may bring effortless pleasure in the finished work.

Composition and technique, strategy and craftsmanship demand time and labor; there is no escaping the necessities of discipline, patience, and clarity of intent.  But with this understanding, art will reveal itself, and be brought into being.


The Celestial Way (Excerpt) 9:36

© Crucibulum Publishing (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Beyond Boundaries

Aesthetic action defines art; culture and institutions absorb and expand its impact, yet ofttimes reduce its clarity and potency.

For the artist or composer, the exigencies of vision and creation call upon some resources found within the scope of social and academic order, but others-- elevation of reason, self-discipline, curiosity, erudition and experience, as examples-- must be sought within, and outside common ground.

Style may be imitated, and beautifully so-- but art cannot be.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sound, Passion, Perception

Subjective emotion is of paramount importance in most musical pieces, from simple pop songs to elaborate symphonic works.  Listeners are to some extent conditioned to expect deeply personal, highly emotional expression in music across all genres.  But there are distinct differences between artistic works focused upon the vicissitudes of emotion and those manifesting clarity, perceptivity and constancy of vision.

As singular auditory impressions, or infinite combinations thereof, may evoke various sensory images and perceptions rather than subjective emotions in a listener, so may a composer create in accord with principles of emotional reserve and restraint to bring about these impressions. 

Simultaneously sensual and detached, such works offer aesthetically pleasing musical diversions for listeners of balanced and temperate sensibilities, and for those who enjoy a respite from music filled with overwrought passion and mundane melodrama as well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Drawn From Life

A landscape, a walk through a town or drive through the mountains, an hour spent in an outdoor cafe, or groups of photographs like those presented here, with the memories they evoke and the sounds they recall or suggest, become the composer's art. 

Perceptions associated with such experiences as these are the source materials for the sketches and transformational ambient music of Black Mountain School, reflecting these electronic works' similarities with tone poems and other programmatic music forms that represent non-musical ideas, incidents, environments, and so forth. 

This is in keeping with the stylistic elements of the sound designs as well, as they are focused substantially on aspects of pattern and texture as opposed to rhythm, percussion, and melody.

Together, the ideas behind these works and the ways and means of producing them lend themselves to a total effect intended to stimulate and liberate the thoughts and perceptions of the listener, rather than to merely convey the emotions of the composer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Asymmetrical Rebellion in Music

Ordinary experience overlooks much that is marvelous, the perceptions obscured by habit and the expectations clouded by commonplace hyperbole.

It is and was ever thus that the clamorous and hysterical extinguish the understated and refined, but only insofar as one surrenders to the former and fails to give consideration to the latter. 

It is not enough to simply take a position in opposition to the musically trivial and mundane.  The composer must listen, envision, bring forth and make possible a dynamic presence in sound that moves transcendentally beyond the probable and expected, and makes perceptible the uncanny.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Intricate Simplicity

Artistic expression represents impressions of the imagination.

Direct and contemplative experience may be seen, in artistic terms, as the observation of perceptions-- subtleties of  shade and color, for example, or the patterns of particular sounds, with their qualities of tone and texture-- for their aesthetic interest. 

Such observations are by nature subjective, as reflected in the artist's works, yet the extent of that subjectivity will often depend upon what is most important to the creator, and whether it be art or ego.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Phantom Cities

There is an understandable tendency to ascribe ethereal, otherworldly atmospheric sounds and strangely serene conditions to exotic climes and distant pastoral or desert landscapes.

This predisposition, perhaps, makes the sudden silences that seem to descend within the urban environments, and the sensory adjustment as hearing acclimates to the aural subtleties of these surroundings, all the more eerie and striking.

In the role of composer I listen to all settings and regard them in rational, emotional, and imaginative ways.  I seek a direct and contemplative perception of reality, whether at home, at work, or traveling, and, when composing and recording, refine to the fullest extent possible methods and means to express experience as it presents itself to me.