Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sensory Apprehension, Nonlinear Grasp

The listener will recognize the experience of a gradual recognition of a piece of music.

Upon first becoming cognizant of the song, perhaps from a distance, the perception is one of an extremely vague and nebulous familiarity.  At times this sense of emerging recognition fragments and scatters rather than quickly coming into focus, yet the sounds themselves may gather clarity as mental processes intensify in connecting to memory.

From my perspective this is always a mesmerizing event, and invariably the musical piece itself seems diminished once it is identified.  Whereas it began with an impression of mystery and uncanny strangeness, it then ceases to draw the mind in the direction of the unknown and all the elements fall into place and pattern.  The actual music, finally grasped, is insignificant in comparison with the perceptual experience that preceded it.

Seize this awareness-- draw upon it to intentionally compose works that evoke such states of unique aesthetic engagement.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ambient Confluence

Disparate musical elements merge in sequences of auditory effects and imagery, dreamlike in nature.

In the wild, so to speak, there is no pure and permanent order or chaos. Storms subside, seas become calm, light breezes become howling gales and grow quiet again.

This, too, is the way of the artist.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Variance, Divergence, Expansion

The observer will note the striking degree to which contemporary listeners are self-directed in their musical choices.

This is not to say that the conformity in listening of the self-styled hipster no longer exists, or that music has become less of an attitudinal or fashion statement.  What is apparent is that, given a wider range of choice and access to sounds and styles, listeners have no need of being directed by others, particularly those in the media, in developing personal aesthetic values.

Generic music of all styles permeates culture, as an evening of listening to television advertisements makes clear.  Imitation, not innovation, rules the day, and this is anathema to the astute listener.

Conditions such as these broaden the choices of the composer as well, and the challenge, especially when working outside the boundaries of popular taste, is to retain clarity of vision and directness of expression.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The possibilities of sound confront the composer, and the composer must listen.

It is possible to direct, arrange, form, force, and shape sound to the desired end; it is possible to control every aspect and element of its reality to the most minute degree; it can be made to conform to style and genre and be used as a vehicle for any emotion and idea.

Or sound may direct the composer, and unknown possibilities be brought into being.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Familiar, Yet Strange

Arcane, untried, and out-of-the-ordinary ideas and processes combine with contemporary technological methods in ways that may appear startling or uncanny.

Perspectives on the appearances of things are altered; unexpected aspects of sensory impressions are revealed, and fundamental ways of ordering experience become tenuous.

The concept of sound as art remains for the most part undefined and is as often represented by absurd juxtapositions of noise as it is by aesthetically delineated works of aural imagery.  But this is to be expected, as a natural development in the course and evolution of art and cultural events.

Ways of listening, and thinking, are changing. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Assemblage and Framing

Diverse elements, given context, offer multiple meanings when experienced as a whole.

Lucid yet oblique suggestiveness in poetry and sound design, for example, offers much for thoughtful consideration while refraining from direct statements.

The composer brings differing elements of sounds into a unity of expression.  Listeners may interpret in any number of ways, or not at all, in encountering such works, and thus the individual imagination, emotions, and perceptions are interconnected in varying degrees with the works themselves.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sequences, Organization, Methods

With change as a constant, processes may lead in some scenarios, follow in others, toward any number of possible outcomes.

Sounds move in time in relation to other sounds as they are brought together, juxtaposed, removed, set in opposition to each other, fused, dispersed, repeated, and recombined.  The nature of the action is in some ways asymmetrical and in others a matter of aesthetic choice.

In their final recorded forms, works such as these have more connections in common with cubism, action painting, pop art, impressionism, and abstract expressionism than with generic musical styles.

The sound art and design under consideration here, like the aforementioned visual arts, suggests and rewards a change and renewal of perspective as well.