Better late than never… [this also should serve as an intro]
First, I’m very happy to have found this forum because of the focus on ideas, not so much specific equipment or musical scenes. I’ve found great ideas, great music, great books (the Gary Tomlinson book was one of many epiphanies…) Indeed there’s something very special, alive, and nurturing about this community. I hope only that the sometimes strange way I think and write about things can find a place. It did not on MW, though I still appreciate that forum for its technical knowledge.
Some brief context.
What I do (technically, descriptively, not in terms of the visions that drive the work – ok not much in terms of vision): I use some old modular (no eurorack) and non-modular analog gear which I control using Max and Logic. I use Max not for audio but for ways of algorithmically manipulating sequences under real-time (keyboard) control; aside from starting with a few generic “cells”, and of course having everything patched beforehand, the entire track generally develops on the fly. If pressed I’d describe it as a “mystic algorithmic folk music”, completely electronic of course, though others may relate it to post-minimalism. In a way something like Terry Riley’s “In C” already contains more advanced manifestations, but I’m exploring this with algorithmic mediation, in a more folk-oriented context, and in ways that echo Bataille’s “acephalic” dictum: Secretly or not… it is necessary to become other or else cease to exist. Sure there are some very specific/personally meaningful aspects to how all this is done, aspects that configure the whole apparatus as a site for ritual practice, but for now (dipping my toes in) it’s easier to describe things from a technical point of view.
Prior context and development: About three years ago I abandoned what I was doing musically and began a different and ultimately pathless journey, to no longer attempt a particular style but simply to listen, not judge, to open myself to the sounds/concepts that were already emerging, that perhaps had already been there and simply say “Yes”. Once I got a sense of the “flow” (I would not say “direction”), this allowed me to progress more rapidly, which happened mostly in 2017.
However, this “honest” approach was not without its shadow side: it brought forth deeper, more haunting, inner visions, aspects that I had preferred to be fairly hidden, but that have come to share an identity with the work which serves as the primary actualization. OK, I still haven’t posted my work or shown it to anyone, for reasons I discuss below. I may not do so in 2018, if it is still not right. But I do feel it’s more or less reached the point where I feel it should be heard.
With this background, here are my 2018 goals:
find better online communities (already joined lines!) and lessen my participation in others.
finish a suite of Max tools for interactive, generative composition, as part of my exploration of anthropotechnics, personal transformation, shapeshifting… a posthumanist orientation diametrically opposed to the transhumanism of Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk etc.
cultivate some sort of offline community, perhaps not strictly (or even) musical: I find it much easier to discuss ideas in person, especially when contexts and ideas spontaneously emerge from the conversation itself – writing on forums (indeed: organized, linear writing in general) has never been my strong suit… concepts are hard to separate from practice… also as a liminal sort of person, dwelling in the borderlands, walking the thresholds… concepts cross many boundaries: musical, technical, social, spiritual… when I try to capture a thought and write it down, it’s most likely flown into another…
[and this is the crux…] find the courage to come forth with some things … if it can be called an “identity” or more broadly an entire worldview or simply “world”. Or more properly the “virtual” out of which my work is the primary actualization, but that is no less real than the actual. But the lack of other avenues for actualization (even writing, discussing ideas) inhibits and isolates me. I fall back too much on security, on perhaps alluding to things, regressing to the type of symbolic mediation rather than actively making this world come forth.
I would say that each of these steps are prerequisites towards releasing a work. I’ve made good progress on the first two and little on the others. Above all, I wish to grow to the point I can put my name towards a release.