Saturday, March 01, 2014

Elements and Principles

Random sounds or contrived, unstructured sounds are merely those things and nothing more.

Aesthetic sound composition need not be subject to the structures and generic forms of music, yet it becomes elevated by virtues found in the visual arts, which include balance, contrast, unity, and such subtle aural features as those of tone, color, line, movement, texture and direction.

Brought into being accordingly, the relationships established between diverse sounds, tones, and juxtapositions of aural imagery create atmospheric effects of great beauty and interest that neither standard musical stylings nor indiscriminate auditory gestures capture.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Air of the Day

Seize awareness of the surroundings, that is to say, take conscious notice of transition in movement and atmosphere in place.

Sidewalk, recreation hall, vacant lot, country road, dunes, riverside trail, apartment balcony, school campus, boat dock, high plains, old growth forest, shopping center, wildlife sanctuary- brimming with sounds.

Given musical form, representations of natural, spontaneous sound events may engage the ear in the manner that listening takes place in non-musical environments.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Motion Perspective

Movement through sonic space produces a wide range of perceptual effects.

Innumerable sounds collide and mix in combinations of distorted flux and bright clarity, whether the percipient, the auditory imagery, or both are in motion.

Compositions may be designed in such a way as to reflect these peculiar events, and production may enhance them, yet they are most pronounced in environments that are suited to activity. Whether set within astutely crafted art installations or well laid out living environments, open, fluid areas provide the most desirable situations for music made for heightened and immersive listening.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gain, Not Loss

Release sounds from common structures.

Let them flow without consideration of tempo, beginning, middle, end.  At first the effect is strange, and understood, through cultural conditioning, within the narrow confines of disorder, or falling apart.

Yet with subtle framing and a minimum of interference on the part of the composer, these sound elements may evolve into forms and patterns of aesthetic beauty, and this points in the direction of the greater order of things.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Look deeply in the places where others briefly glance.

Listen carefully for the sounds that go unnoticed in the course of things.

What is strange is the fascination with spectacle, absurdity, and the specious distractions that ensnare the imagination; what is real is direct experience, insight, and the flux of the timeless moment.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mood, Idea, Emotion

Sounds direct the mood of the listener, sometimes directly and at other times unconsciously.

This direction of impression and reaction is clearly a primary role of sound in film and in other media. Such is the manipulation of sentiment.  Excitement, sadness, fear, rage, suspense, and so on may be generated by auditory and visual imagery, even when the result is existentially absurd.

To encourage emotional reaction rather than thoughtful response obviously devalues reason.  To do so through musical bombast and other means of over-saturation of the senses is common. These are the tools of propaganda and other forms of cultural influence and control.

I compose works in opposition to those that produce such effects, designed to balance and liberate feeling, being, and state of mind.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mysticism, Science, and Art

Trace the arc of imagination forward, beginning in the remote, historic past and projecting into the distant future.

Sounds emerge out of thin air in delicate points of light; manipulated into juxtapositions that please the artist and listener, they expand, rise, contract and fall like soap bubbles from a child's toy, to collide, coalesce, disperse, and form again as new tones and patterns.

Imagination finds ways of expression through technology, and the latter inspires again the former.