Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Surrounding the Temporal

Sounds move in directions of openness and may be manipulated accordingly.

Time and space are aspects of the fabric of reality, but they need not define every perception, nor every form of artistic representation. Sound imagery, in particular, may elevate the imagination and the senses beyond temporal attachments.  Composer and listener do not make this happen, but allow it to take place.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Every event is multifaceted, the outcome of convergences of innumerable phenomena.

Meaning takes place individually, and selectively, as when witnesses respond to their perceptions of singular incidents.  Thus the composer chooses tones and sounds as poetic representations of sonic experiences, to be conveyed to the listener, laden with uncanny implications and possibilities.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Across Probablilties

Abstractions and known paradigms serve as starting points.

One speaks of such things as ambience, minimalism, indeterminacy, and so forth as matters of shared knowledge, yet realization of meaning comes through processes leading ultimately to total effect.

Speculation, for the composer, is action rising into being.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Certainly any listener gravitates toward the sounds that provide the most enjoyment, or, if you prefer, aesthetic pleasure.

Of particular interest are scenarios in which the sounds of the listener's surroundings generate that peculiar attraction that music, in the general sense, does not. These are the sounds of the human and natural world, sharing little more than qualities of tone and pattern with the elements of music, yet they possess a beauty, in totality of effect, that is uncanny in the sense of being simultaneously familiar, yet strange.

For the composer, this means coming to terms with the myriad aspects of such atmospheres, and, through aural experimentation, composition, and production, reflecting their virtues.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Aural Evocations

Simply put, life is a creative process, one that is immersed in sounds.

The universe of nature and humanity is equally one of imagination and spirit, and the atmospheres of living change combine every element, including those present nowhere else except in the inner ear.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Changes in the arts involve individual perception as well as aesthetic and theoretical developments.

One sees and hears, while another does not; gradually, shared perceptions gain clarity.  What was once apparently empty becomes filled, and culture gradually absorbs and expands with perceptivity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Completeness, Timelessness

Every moment taken inwardly lifts the spirit.

Such is the way of permanence.  Listen, hear with fullness, and the source is joy.

Thank you for your interest & support of our art, with five albums in today's Ambient MP3 Top 100 at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


The sounds of all seasons compel attention to richness of experience, within and without.

It is not the sounds themselves, but the peculiar attitudes and atmospheres they convey, in subtle and sometimes incomprehensible forms, that lift the perceptions, emotions, and the spirit above the otherwise mundane and ordinary, even into places of idea and vision that can only be described as uncanny.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Filter and Field

Extending aural perception is a matter of focus and deliberation.

Where attention is turned away, search; when consciousness is open and aware, listen, and hear with the inner ear.  Discovery and realization drive both creative act and elevated understanding.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stepping Stones

In conceptual experiments with sound, success and failure are of equal interest to the composer.

Consider, for example, a piece in which one part of the process in composition and performance is control, while other steps are left to chance, and the evolution of the artistic work in sound develops between the two.  Success emerges in the production of aesthetically beautiful sounds, yet failure brings the composition closer to realization.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Imagining Echoes

In listening and composing, broaden the range of the inner ear.

Survey possibilities and delineate sounds as a cartographer would in developing a three-dimensional map, noting not only expanses, landmarks and contours, but the movement of objects through time and space as well.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Consider music as part of a time stream, and listening follows from point to point.

Consider, rather, an art of sound composed as an expanding moment of being, and be immersed within it.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Appearances increasingly lose reliability in the course of political and cultural conflicts.

The aesthetic sense, being evaluative in nature, in accord with moral reason, provides creative insight into chaotic scenarios generated by contending viewpoints.  From such a  perspective of equanimity, an unobstructed flow of perceptions and ideas is natural.

The composer would do well to bring sound imagery into being that reinforces consistent clarity of consciousness in approaching the phenomena of illusory and deceptive appearances.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Aleatoric art, the reader will note, integrates the idea of chance in the process of composition.

Ideas and elements of composition present themselves in unexpected ways in the art of aural imagery and may be transformed into the work in like manner.

Neither improvisation nor random activity in search of  a "happy accident", the aleatoric aspect of creative action provides for the aesthetic expression of perspectives on sound events as they evolve and are juxtaposed in the course of various works.  Whether in studio or in in the process of field recordings, this perspective is of high value in the creation of atmospheres that reflect "real world" perceptions of settings and vantage points in motion.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Nature yields to impermanence.

To reflect upon the totality of available recorded music is to be aware of inevitable change.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sound, System, Synthesis

Ultimately, the concept of music is undefined.

What is understood is the art of sound as it relates to individual and group sensibilities in subjective ways, while the objective outlines, analyses, and critical observations of technique, style, and expression carry equal weight in specialized cultural contexts.

I explore, ranging far afield.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fire of Spirit

Of the arts, music is burdened most by social constructs vis-à-vis conformity in terms of sound, fashionability, political stances, and other things of this nature.

In addition to the dull and mediocre, works that are absurdly outré are conferred the status of acceptability if they conform to the collective sensibilities of a mass audience or are granted recognition by academic institutions or media conglomerates. 

For the imaginative composer and the discriminating listener as well, it is fortunate that the aforementioned scenarios need no longer be formidable obstacles to creative expression.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Listeners experience the perception of musical forms as they experience culture.

Certain impressions are individual and relate to personal experience; others suggest social environments and relationships as well as collective frames of reference.

Between composer and listener is a point of contact, a merging of tone, idea, and feeling.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Myth and Legend

Predictability yields excess as well as ennui.

As genre loses individually, it is re-framed in bombast, as no amount of subtlety can disguise the banal. Evidence of this failure of imagination is everywhere plentiful, and opposition to it, in terms of the art of sound, is the responsibility of both composer and listener.

Promoveo, promovi, promotum.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Expansion of experience enlarges the capacity for perceptual awareness.

As engagement with the art of sound grows, it becomes possible to move beyond personal bias into wider appreciation of diversity, discernment of fullness of expression in addition to proficiency of technique, and respect for the conceptual and philosophical as well as the affective and energetic.

The opening of the mind's eye and inner ear of imagination heralds the arrival of what is yet to be.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sound and Reasoning

The art of listening recognizes beauty in a combination of elements, including thought and feeling as well as environmental acoustical processes and properties.

Moving through the public square the listener encounters myriad sonic atmospheres, some static and confined to particular areas, others relatively unfettered, and all perceived within the dynamic of the listener's activities. Within the personal environment, the listener may exercise greater influence over the listening experience, yet various aspects of the quality of sound, as well as movement within the more intimate setting, similarly engage the mind and emotions.

If the composer's aims are finely delineated and artistic sound works, it is absolutely essential to give consideration to the perceptivity, desirable state of mind, and consciousness of the potential listener with the same attention given to that of the fabrication of the creative auditory environment.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Within the atmosphere, the listener moves and participates.

Giving attention to sound means fully experiencing its effects, which may evoke emotions, ideas, reflection, and reverie.  The challenge for the composer is to bring about and sustain these effects in ways that enhance, rather than dominate consciousness, providing listeners a mood of equanimity as well as heightened sensory awareness.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Movement, Inward and Outward

Sound events link perception to memory.

Every element of experience contributes to intellectual and emotional response, and every individual completes a unique perspective within the listening experience.

Like the musician, the composer may choose to project and interpret feeling and attitude; even so, it is possible, on the other hand, to encompass, through reason, art, and act, a worldview to engage and contemplate.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Shadings II

Perception ignites idea.

Idea and action converge.

The idea is to capture the atmosphere of an event, real or imaginary, and give it form through sound that represents the content of that aural setting, the diversity of its sonic elements, and the dynamic manner in which it enters the listener's awareness. In terms of action, aesthetic choices applied to design, structure, and manipulation of sound technology and production are brought to bear in the creation of the total effect of the work.

Saturday, December 07, 2013


Perceptions are identified in the context of knowledge and experience.

It is the sound of the uncanny that mystifies; it seizes imagination and alters perspectives in ways the familiar, that is to say the musically generic and exceedingly common, can not.

Friday, December 06, 2013


Respect for consciousness and being demands the transcendence of mundane attachments.

The arts do not exist to serve vanity or populist politics.  With vision, observe widely, feel deeply, express fully; with any media, elevate virtue and exalt vitality in gesture. With sound, particularly, convey perceptivity and clarity through tone, and give voice to the inexpressible.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Manner and the Thing Done

Observe, in the course of events, those things that are constant and those that are impermanent.

Custom and culture inform the arts, but the artist determines the extent to which their pressures influence the work of a lifetime.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Conditions for Perceptivity

Understanding, intuition, reason, perception, action.

Seeking virtue, observe the vitality of the virtuous, constantly enduring.  These are the arts that expand, fill, and elevate consciousness with idea, feeling, spirit, and ideal.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Thin Air

All that will be arises from all that came before.

It is foresight that envisions and creates the leading edge of theory and practice, called, in the arts, the avant-garde.  Yet regardless of perspective, it does not exist without foundation.  Eliot's poetry evokes by allusion as well as by juxtaposition; William Burroughs' fragmentary prose delineates classic themes of human conflict through the imagery of surrealistic film noir.  Andy Warhol's visual art frames a modern world view while encompassing artistic expressions of time past.  The unique experimental and ambient recordings of Robert Fripp and Brian Eno owe as much or more to the unexpected and under-appreciated minimalist response to atonality in classical music as to the history of pop and rock music.

Progress cannot allow itself to be bound and gagged by subjection to immediacy, or mere novelty, any more than by false sentimentality or nostalgia.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Horizon Lines

In the wake of dynamic changes in cultural perspective, obsolete ideas are abandoned.

At the forefront of such changes, understanding depends upon foresight; risks are taken, predictive analysis and experimentation are implemented, and clarity of reason yields possibilities.

Like any artist, the composer must weigh the known against the unknown, and act accordingly.  To do less is to act foolishly in a realm fraught with unintended consequences and, ultimately, failure. 

Nonetheless, to choose wisely is to illuminate, through vision as well as sound.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Design and Intent

The arts inform as well as entertain, and diverse media lend themselves to various purposes.

While there is nothing unusual about music as an enhancement to contemplative or introspective experience, its value and function as such is not as clearly evident as its roles in popular listening diversion, dance, or even in the contexts of religion and spirituality.  

As one may become lost in thought, so it is possible for sound to displace the ego and direct the attention towards a consciousness of things greater than oneself; and thus listener and composer aspire and strive together.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Luminosity of Sound

Consider the imaginative moment, when the creative idea takes form and begins its progress to expression.

Inspiration and intuition take hold, the burden of the temporal and impermanent is cast off; thought unites with action to bring a perspective into being that may be shared with anyone.

The peculiar art of sound is a contemplative one, and unlike music that only serves, for the most part, as cultural entertainment, it exists to elevate and expand the consciousness of both composer and listener through insight and the aesthetic experience.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Setting and Story

All forms of imagery travel with the imagination.

Where the mind reaches, so does narrative and sound.  Every event brings forth music shaped by the surroundings and their myriad elements, whether dramatic or subtle, while the merest moment holds an overabundance of sonic meaning.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sense, Mind, Knowing

Life as it is experienced is beyond its representations.

The best of its representations make that clearly understood.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tone and Temperament

Reach the deep.

When extending perception outwardly or contemplating consciousness inwardly, follow the sounds of life wherever they lead. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Moon Rising, Approaching Shadows

The art of metaphor speaks through aural imagery as it does through verbal imagery.

Fix moments to sounds within them:  Pacific sunset, canyon rim, pine woods in autumn rain, eclipse over Maryland, subway in Budapest, dim and foggy night through a window. These are the sounds of blood, bone, nerve and consciousness, discovered through instrument and studio, experience and the inner ear. Brought into being, they emerge, converge, and are scattered, their meanings to be formed again in every listening setting.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Regarding the Experimental

Identify the diverse sounds encountered in the routine order of the day; observe tone, duration, and patterns over extended periods.

Consider what music would be like if, rather than existing as an expression of idea and emotion, its origins were in the re-creations of atmospheres through a conscious stylization of perceived auditory phenomena.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Superficially, art is omnipresent.

But art that inspires vision, and sounds that evoke the unheard, will be nonetheless, and will be unexpected.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Approach to creative action, whether inspired or contrived, concerns expression and representation.

Decisions regarding means and methods can be considered in terms of  "creating a reality", and by doing so, exploring what reality is and what it means. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ears to Hear

In the popular imagination, entertainment and diversion laden with visuals increasingly obscures direct personal experience.

The "pop mind" is necessarily one that is formed and focused through collective ideas, imagery, and subjection to immediacy, an authoritarian mass conformity of attention. Clearly, such a burden upon consciousness degrades contemplative reflection and gives rise to a host of social issues caused by mental and emotional impediments to existential freedom.

Neither engagement nor disengagement is the way of the artist. It is the integrity of the creative work that is the essential element.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Transmission VIII

All communications take place in the context of environment.

Culture, society, circumstance, and time cannot be set aside in order to convey meaning, regardless of the extent of its significance.  This is a fact of life that is no less true in the arts.

Even so, there remain expressions that cannot be brought into being under the burden of intellectual compromise, if artistic principles are are to have any value at all.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The greatest of rhythms are, in their depth, range, and temporal scope, beyond sensory experience.

Reality on this scale is comprehensible only in the abstract, yet it may be suggested through expressive art.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


To know with the senses is to participate in the human experience.

Commitment to vision is commitment to audience.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Emergence, Convergence, and Dispersal

Historically, music sounds nothing like auditory phenomena in the world at large.

Rather than seeking to express the personal, I compose and create by listening to the surroundings, considering the various aural impressions within, then finding and combining sounds that re-imagine, reflect, and represent the experience.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Plainness and Intricacy

Find nature, find being.  This is simplicity.

But this presupposes "nature" to be outside awareness. It is not. Such an idea is, like many, only a delusion of subjectivity. Birds and wildlife enter and cross the grounds; outside the pull of the Earth's gravity, one is weightless. The extent to which analysis has meaning is valuable, and beyond that, it is a pointless exercise, an obstacle to discernment.  To lose consciousness of one's true nature is a failure of rationality.

Eliminate the excessive; broaden the focus, extend the senses, and understanding follows.

The composer would do well to begin creative endeavors with this thought in mind: out of the simple evolves the complex, yet complexity expands into simplicity.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Background, Being

Sounds, unceasing, go unheard.

Attention is fixed elsewhere in the scheme of the mundane, of work and play.

It is possible to know and hear the moment now in the surroundings, to sense with the inner ear the totality of experience, and to realize more aural beauty, in the imagination, than the sounds of music alone evoke.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Formless Change

What will be, is not now.

Putting aside the common ideas of music, think of sounds composed like a pool of water, clear and beautiful, but indistinct; still, yet contained in a flow impossible to fully grasp, measure, or capture.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sonic Fields

Begin with the idea of creating something other than music using aesthetically complementary sounds.

Reproduce sounds as they occur spontaneously in human environments as well as in natural ones. Treat the studio as an instrument in developing and manipulating sound elements and aural effects.

Set aside musical ideas in favor of gesture, collage, layering, and striking placement of tones and lines. Consider any and all possibilities in growing the composition.  Contemplate and evaluate the total effect until, with alterations, additions, eliminations of fault and failure, and realization of integrity of expression, the work is finished.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


All things are in constant motion.

Out of stillness comes action, and each produces effects on the other.  This is a fundamental dynamic of sound, however subtle or wide-ranging, whether spontaneous and natural or contrived.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Centering Surroundings

Sounds are perceived, identified, located, and separated in the perceptual process.

Listening actively makes these distinctions clear, yet they take place just the same in the course of passive hearing.  One will note the unusual, ignoring the rest, and still be conscious of the quality of the atmosphere.

In approaching ambient sound design, I am interested in composing with these perceptual processes in mind as well as in the juxtaposition of complementary tones, lines, and so forth, giving attention to the sensations produced by sounds as well as their musicality.  While atypical of the ambient style in general, such methods contribute to originality of total effect in Black Mountain School works, making them distinctively different in sound and nature from those of other stylists.