Saturday, June 16, 2012

Composition Models

The composer of representational or program music may be as realistic or imaginative as is desirable in evoking aural metaphor or sonic symbols to various effects.

As the photographs on this site suggest the examination and elongation of the moment of perception, with its colors, shades, contents and spatial qualities, so too does the music of the Black Mountain School project generate settings and atmospheres directed toward the awareness of things both large and small, to subtle and overarching perceptions that may go unnoticed, whether far away or just outside the door.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Mind and media interrelate, and to a great extent the connections are unconscious, the results of repetition.

Putting aside the problematic aspects of advertising jingles, catchphrases, and political slogans, consider the retention of music-- popular songs, personal favorites, and the like-- and the effects of these memorable sounds.  For numerous reasons, but particularly in emotional and nostalgic terms, attachment to such music can be quite strong, and some listeners' musical horizons begin and end with works confined to particular styles, times and places.

Yet for many, there is always more, always the unknown, and so, as well, the anticipation of sounds that strike the ear like none before.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Perceptual Fields

Listen, hear, and think.

Consciousness encounters the totality of reality perceived through the mind and the senses.

Each person is unique, perceives differently, focuses in various ways, and measures according to experience that gives regard to diverse phenomena, objects, ideas, and events accordingly.

The same musical work is experienced and understood differently by each listener.  Individual listeners may give attention to the same work in numerous ways according to such variables as setting, mental and emotional disposition, and clarity of consciousness.  Attitudes such as curiosity and intellectual openness will impact the experience, as will cultural and social conditioning and the capacity for independent, critical observation.

Observe, conceive, create.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aural Metaphor

Sound is scenario, vista, substance, environment, idea, soul.

Book of hours, spirit of avenues, temptation of whirlpool, canyon rim, skyscraper.  Flock of wild geese, motorcade, hunting camp, epiphany in darkling cold, dust devil across dry wash, rainbow and moon with drifting contrails.

Conversation, nervous and soothing.  Crackling fire.  Echoes down mountainsides.  Light moving through cafe at midday.  Flood of foreign voices, riptide of foresight, tributaries merging into the deltas of mind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Give thought to the numberless causes and effects combining and interacting every moment.

Choose, combine and transform sounds accordingly; set them in motion, let them rise and fall without interference, as far as is possible.

Atmospheres emerge.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Unspoken, Undefined, Sublime

Thought and emotion are continually communicated through nonverbal expressions, and among these means of conveying ideas, feelings, and perceptions is the manipulation of sounds.

Auditory, visual, and verbal imagery are equal in force and nuance; the composer, visual artist, and poet must be equally adept in illuminating the numerous subtleties and strengths intrinsic to their respective fields of endeavor.

As a delineator of aural environments, the composer reaches the listener through expression of mood and tone and attitude, creating, by way of myriad processes, sonic symbols that may enhance and elevate the work, and, by extension, the aesthetic experience and the consciousness of the listener. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wider, Higher, Deeper

Seek and regard the things that go unnoticed.

The superficial and egocentric mind forms illusions of common knowledge, and to such a way of thinking attachment to wealth, status, celebrity, and materialistic attitudes apparently fills every space at all times.  Clearly preposterous and untenable, these perspectives dominate popular and commercial culture.  It was ever thus.

In reality, civilization is formed of stronger ideas, ideals and visions.  This is the way of the artist.