Mechanics. The sound flickers here and there. It creates psychogeograpies with condensed, multilayered and dispersed sounds, originating from any sound source I came across over the past eight years since I started exploring do-it-yourself electronics. The tracks are constructed like a composite spatial-temporal topology entering different mental spaces, marking areas of contractions and expansions of physical substances attracted by dispersed gravitational poles. The album is a series of short compositions, creating allusions of string theory with vibrations of space in field recordings (audio, electromagnetic, ultrasonic), analogue electronics, modular synthesis, digital instruments and computer manipulations. The use of means to reach a certain sound is not only intentional and selective but also non-exclusive.
The instruments are not really “played” but rather “played with” to produce unexpected patterns of strange harmonies and off-beat rhythms. Various failed repetitions invite anomalies, creating small acoustic or analogue mistakes that release the tension of mechanically produced symmetries. Playing with the idea of string vibrations, I grew an interest in wires howling in the wind, singing bridges, forgotten instruments, like the old family zither that was passed down through the generations… The dispersed sound particles in Graviton exist in the spaces between sounds like a graviton, an unobtainium; they were made by drawing the unstrung bow over the bridge of a double bass. I play with familiar sounds and try to put them together in strange, even unsettling ways.
Science. So, to solve one of the most pressing puzzles of quantum gravity, physicists are looking for the graviton, a massless particle that moves with incredible speed, with no electrical charge and a quantum spin of 2. Nature, it seems, is not without a sense of humour… The titles of the tracks are taken from string theory not to mathematically follow complex calculations – which even the most advanced researchers are striving to prove and escape the dreaded infinite result – but rather to think of it as a method of being in the world of familiarities. Because the whole universe is built of a given set of particles – regardless of whether the number is 18 or 32 or higher – and the difference between a rock and me is much smaller than we were led to believe. The complexity and familiarity that make up the entire universe is a meditation of the album. In this sense, sonic compositions are used as means to audibly experience the consequences of natural phenomena studied by science. What connects creatures are fundamental objects of the universe as a whole – the strings and branes. Quantum particles thus precede all forms of mutual exchange between non-human and human creatures and cultures.
Storytelling. Another variation of this same tale says that all things in the world have kami [神]. Here and there, I wake up some little creatures and give them voices (Interactions). Some are mechanic and sound quite similar to organic ones, but it doesn’t matter so much… Some sounds reveal entire landscapes or vast, spacious halls. Some stories are told by resonating the theme, and often I’m not completely aware of where the composition is heading to. Yet, sometimes, I want to express a very concrete story, like in Dark Energy. The track tells a tale of a dark stallion in a harsh, windswept land, all bruised after years of being beaten by the hands of humans. His front hooves are tied together with a short iron chain that is severely crippling the horse’s mobility, making it impossible for him to gallop around or mate. He is not alone. Thousands like him suffer to their bitter ends to be served on West European plates and no one is asking where they came from or how they lived – as is always the case with self-consumed consumerism. The sound of chains is like the sound of money – cold and harsh and difficult to record. The recorder was clipping. A large portion of the sound of chains is above hearing range (25kHz). That alone must be driving the horse mad.
Trouble. The weight of apocalyptic doom lays heavy on Terra, and some of the tracks (Hedrons, Dark Energy) reflect this more than others. But it is far too easy to be pessimistic and give up on the world because “nothing is going to make it better” – as generating disharmonies by using analogue electronics is easy. Pessimism leads to even more destruction out of resignation, or ignorance or sheer obscenity, like with some accelerationists. Making harmonies of any scale with analogue and acoustic equipment is somewhat more difficult, as it is difficult to be optimistic and persistently produce small solutions without projecting them to some ultimate future utopia. Donna Harraway advises that “staying with the trouble does not require […] the future [but] learning to be truly present, not as a vanishing pivot between awful or edenic pasts and apocalyptic or salvic futures, but as mortal critters entwined in myriad unfinished configurations of places, times, matters, meanings”. Through these compositions, I’d like to remember the good things and invoke important historical events – like a cockchafer landing on the recorder.
Magic. These events are remembered so as to create unpredictable and unprescribed harmonies, full of playfulness and a need to dance (Heterotic String). I’m deeply moved by the scales and sounds of African string instruments and the bwilli ritual music. No sound is more beautiful than the music that aids healing, with all the convulsions the healing process may bring. The tracks’ composition is persistent, repetitive yet unpredictable; it brings transformation in the listening subject. I hope I remembered some of these ritualistic chants…
Maruša Hren · usb booklet design and manufacture
Luka Prinčič · usb booklet design, graphics, editorial, executive production
Stella Ivšek · Kamizdat Rentgen visuals, streaming, design and promotion
Katja Kosi · proofreading
cat no.: KAM041
- beepblip album release, Noise for Strings, Vol. 1, Kamizdat, Škuc Gallery, 12 September 2019 [video documentation]
- beepblip sound performance @ IGNOR #30 – Platform for Literature, Sounding and Performance, Klub Gromka, AKC Metelkova, 27 November 2019
- beepblip sound performance, Afterparty, @Radio Študent, 89.3 MHz, 26 November 2019