Saturday, April 05, 2014

Depth, Distance, Shape

The vantage point is a hillside looking down upon a river some two hundred yards below, and above the treeline.

A steady and prolonged gust of wind blows between the riverbanks, from the water level to upwards of the treetops, a vast current of rushing air, approaching in the distance, following the flow, and fading down the distant waters like the passing of a ghost train, almost visible, vaguely palpable, then gone away, a thing alive, a living sound.

The composer would do well to bring the merest reflection of such an experience into being.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Impression to Expression

Sensory perceptions take place sequentially, within the limits of time and space.

But the mind is not so restricted, and the imagination may conceive extraordinary possibilities.

Consider a painting that represents a subject from numerous perspectives and according to differing qualities of light simultaneously.  It is nonetheless a representation of reality, and reflects the artist's aesthetic sense, as can sounds arranged in nuanced, unified compositions that represent elements of changing, evolving environments.

Such works in sound may strike the ear, in comparison with other musical compositions, in ways similar to those that cubist landscapes appear to the eye, that is to say, as somewhat uncanny in contrast with "realistic" paintings or photographs.

Their strange familiarity, and even their beauty, invite a change of viewpoint and attitude in regard to the art of listening.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Consciousness and Purpose

As the mind may be improved through effort and experience, so may the sensory perceptions be refined.

Challenging literature enhances reason; analytic thought is rewarded, over time, by intuitive grasp of ideas, insight into events, and clarity in understanding character as well as the human condition.

Vision and hearing are sharpened by attention to nuance and detail, as are all the senses. When due consideration is given to contemplative and aesthetic pursuits, self-discipline and equanimity in active life are preserved and strengthened.

When the arts elevate and support the activities of everyday life, the individual thrives, and the culture may do so as well.  In times when the situation is otherwise, personal responsibility sustains, even as the world at large is diminished.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Turning Wheel

Boethius (480- 524 A.D.), author of the Consolation of Philosophy, viewed music as art.

These compositions reflect the idea that we hear with the mind as well as with auditory perception, and that within this inner ear we listen in much the same way as we view art, in a contemplative state of mind and being.  Being capable of hearing much more than merely those things that assault the senses and dominate the attention, I’m interested in creating on the other end of the spectrum, and these works attest to that fact.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Pressure, Clarity, Flux

Extravagant cultural structures exist for purposes of defining and influencing collective understanding.

Diverse subjects, and especially those connected to the arts, politics, religion, media, and social relationships, are continuously under the critical scrutiny of various specialists in related fields and disciplines.  These observers wield extensive and powerful influence, certainly, but their authority dissipates over time in the face of change.

When creative perspectives change over time, essential artistic representations of reality reflect the ideas and theories of forward-thinking, risk-taking individuals. Their impact is far reaching, and should not be underestimated.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Along the Course of Ideas

A thousand observations trace a stream of thought.

Developed throughout are propositions concerning sound as an art medium, sound forms contra music, consciousness informed by the auditory sense, the contrasting natures of hearing and listening, the aesthetics of sound manipulation, peculiar perspectives on ambient music and pop culture, and among other thoughts, the concepts of moral reason, the permanent things, and the good.

Interestingly, from the point of view of composer and listener, any of these notes may be accessed at random and combined to further suggest ever-expanding concepts as well as larger, perhaps more valuable, questions.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Intent, Opposing Conditioning

Simply put, the experience of sound involves varying degrees of subjective attention.

Hearing demands little conscious effort; listening may be refined into a powerful skill, a true art.