Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ghostly Sounds Smeared in Violet

In the past, I have paid homage to the (continual) emergence of sonic hauntologies (and the artist-mediums that may produce them while conducting trance rituals in time).

This may seem airy-fairy to some, but if you actually listen to the sounds of, say, the electronic art duo Twine, you'll see where I'm coming from.

Twine has just released their long-awaited new album Violets on the Ghostly label.

A new review, in the UK's "ever on top of all things audio" Milk Factory, is indicative of what lies ahead, both review-wise and sound-wise for those who make the purchase:
Since, the pair’s complex and emotional mix of glitch, dense atmospherics, reminiscent of 4AD at its haunting peak, and intricate electronic structures adorned with found sounds, has been constantly refined, redefined, and applied on three magnificent albums, released over a three year period, from Circulation (Komplott, 2001), to Recorder (Bip-Hop, 2002) and Twine (Ghostly, 2003). Since, despite being announced for over three years, Violets had remained mysteriously out of Ghostly’s release schedule, until now [...]

[...] Twine revive the vastly emotional and seismic soundscapes of their previous opus and continue to polish a sound which, although deeply reliant on electronics, actually focuses primarily on structural layers of electric guitars treated to various levels. Sounding like the ghost of My Bloody Valentine, stripped of distortions and noise, with its emotional essence and scope intact and laid bare, Twine weave a series of harrowingly beautiful instrumental pieces which they ornate with excerpts of phone conversations, monologues and crowd noises. On Endormie, Cranes singer Alison Shaw is found murmuring in her best French about feeling on the edge of sleep and dreams while ominous clouds of drones, treated guitars and clicks develop in the background [...]
I agree and would add that the album "intuits" future soundtracks for the next wave of art movies made for the net. Of course, I'm biased in that Chad Mossholder (1/2 of Twine) is composing an original soundtrack for my forthcoming mobile phone foreign film, Immobilité.

In a recent interview with Textura, Chad waxes poetic:
Mossholder turned his attention to orchestral composition and became heavily involved in writing music and creating sound design for the video game industry. "I've been collaborating with multi-media artist and author Mark Amerika and am currently scoring his latest feature-length film,” he says. “It's quite an amazing piece of work. Mark's imagery is highly unique and provocative, and the score is very much like Twine music. The end result is an hallucinatory audio-visual experience[...]"


Mossholder's careful to note, however, that, even if the country's political climate were different, Violets would still probably feel much the same, given how emblematic the work is of Twine's sound: "It's who we are," he says, "it's the sounds we choose to use—are in fact drawn to. I very much believe in Jung's theory of the collective unconscious, especially with regards to creating art. Oftentimes, we channel things into our art and don't realize it until the work is complete. It operates on a sort of surrealist level for me: the concept of convulsive beauty. We are all Maldoror" (a reference to Les Chants de Maldoror, the 19th-century prose poem written by the Comte de Lautreamont that served as a key inspiration to Surrealism-associated figures like Dalí, Artaud, Duchamp, Ray, and Ernst, and to current experimental music artists such as Current 93 and cellist Erik Friedlander).
I just bought my zipped version of the new album here.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Simultaneous Data of the Actual Sensory Situation

Ginsberg gloms on to Pound's phrase of
direct presentation and applies it
to his vision of originating spontaneous imagery
as part of a larger strategy to "get the mind high"
(echoing Whitehead's call for Higher Phases of Experience)
and if all the synaptic firings and unconscious
deep interior projections are operating on
perfect pitch autopilot and you're ready for take-off
the measure then turns into something unique like
"a collage of the simultaneous data of
the actual sensory situation"

For those of us using deep interior projections
to turn intense experience into aesthetic fact
the trick is to become Creativity itself
i.e. the actual sensory situation of Remixology
as it once again enacts the principle of novelty
(a principle of spurring on the further advance
of our ongoing creative momentum via
an applied aesthetics that both manipulates
and is unquestionably manipulated by
the environment that each novel situation
presents to us in its state of immediacy)

Keywords that keep generating connective tissues
and morphic resonance within the thought clusters
inhabiting these language excursions into The Deep
include artist-medium / postproduction art
enhanced intensity / novel effect /
sense of measure / embodied praxis /
mirroring neurons / aesthetic fact
not to mention the endless flux of data
waiting to be selected and further manipulated
while performing the ultimate balancing act between
intensity and stability
in the live postproduction environment
the contemporary remixologist risks
their entire livelihood in

all of it picture-perfect source material
ideally situated for customized open source
lifestyle practice researching an applied aesthetics
that grounds itself in creative achievement

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Inner Choreography

Improvising on the dance floor is one thing, mirroring neurons another.

To mirror neurons in asynchronous realtime while relating is a move toward social cohesion.

Showing empathy is a rhetorical gift, the ability to stylize feeling so that what someones else is feeling is mirrored in your own moving-feeling.

But what about expressing it in the live creative act of dancing to music that is composed in such a way as to keep your inner choreographic response shifting toward the pulsations of the figures you share the dance floor with?

This is wearing stylized forms of rhetoric on your sleeve (unless its unbearably hot and you've stripped down to the sleeveless).

Philosophically, Whitehead might say every perception has a feeling-tone and the more we perceive the more toned up we get.

Moving on the dance floor with an actively engaged "dancing other" tones up feelings like nothing else can.

A feeling, says Whitehead, is "that functioning through which the concrescent actuality appropriates the datum so as to make it its own."

When the datum is being transmitted as an on-the-fly remix of affective emotional responses by the "dancing other," then the stylized rhetorician of pulsating movements (the co-productive Remixologist) can position themselves to appropriate the vibe in asynchronous realtime "so as to make it its own" and even then it feels something like mirroring neurons.

The act of mirroring can, in the context of Remixology, signal what at ELO I called literary presence.

If you ever wonder what happened to an engaged, moving literature, grab a writer and escort them to the dance floor.

The act of mirroring neurons is an alchemical dance that produces in and out states of literary presence.

Write your body on the dance floor and see if you can touch a nerve.

Move in Auto-Sequence mode.

Touch more nerves.

Maybe they will soon touch back and the ensuing neuron jam session will resonate in future outpourings of mesmerized sync.

The Remixologist (a stylized rhetorician doing their affectivity dance) fine tunes the art of appropriating selected datum that flows through and channels the feelings of the "dancing other" while instantaneously remixing the heated neuronic jam sessions those channeled feelings produce as an ongoing inner choreography that longs to experience social cohesion in narrative space.

Scientifically, here's the skinny:
  • Dance is a fundamental form of human expression that likely evolved together with music as a way of generating rhythm.
  • It requires specialized mental skills. One brain area houses a representation of the body’s orientation, helping to direct our movements through space; another serves as a synchronizer of sorts, enabling us to pace our actions to music.
  • Unconscious entrainment—the process that causes us to absent­-mindedly tap our feet to a beat—reflects our instinct for dance. It occurs when certain subcortical brain regions converse, bypassing higher auditory areas.
Those are some of the key concepts from "So You Think You Can Dance?: PET Scans Reveal Your Brain's Inner Choreography" in the recent Scientific American.

From the perspective of Remixology, where we use the experiential residue of an affective alchemy to further move emotions and create [visualize] direct images for our bodies to interact with, this inner choreography is all about style and the substance of our lives as reconfigurable narrative space.

But it's also about simultaneously reading each other's minds while shaking your booty.

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