Monday, 9 March 2015

Erik Nyström - Morphogenèse (empreintes DIGITALes)

Are you ready for thermal crises and the prevention of equilibrium? I thought so - it's just what you want to hear, so listen to Erik Nyström's Catabolisms and also enjoy a build-up of tension causing dissipating eruptions. Who said acousmatic music wasn't fun? The terminology is from Erik's thesis. You didn't think I'd come up with those descriptions, did you?

Nyström holds a PhD in Electroacoustic Composition from City University London, where no lesser person than Denis Smalley is a professor. It may never grow to rival France or Germany's track record for turning out titan's of electro-acoustic-acousmatic music, but it gives me great pleasure (is that sad?) to think that in this city of mine somebody is carrying the torch lit by the boffins of sound in France and Germany.

How about Topology Of Embodied Space-Time? That's not a Yes triple album. Yes never made anything as interesting as Morphogenèse - take my word for it. Space-time figures a lot in acousmatic music, by which I mean it opens vistas in your head which you never knew existed and time becomes warped. Now doesn't that sound like fun? These sounds are no-one's idea of fun, but that's never stopped crazy folk enjoying Noise, has it? I think Noise is a genre...well, I've seen it written as if it is...but what the hell is Noise? What is Acousmatic music? You might click on that link. The word is 'from Greek ἄκουσμα akousma, "a thing heard" '. Yes, a thing heard. That's vague. All the shit made in the name of music may be 'a thing heard' if you're unfortunate enough to come across some of it. But...

...I know you're a discerning listener, otherwise you wouldn't be I don't have to explain to you the value of music made under the Acousmatic banner (flag? Yes, let's wave the Acousmatic flag...why not? If enough of us walk 'round town doing that someone might take notice. I'll get on the local news, even national news if I do it in the Houses of Parliament...questions will be asked, first about how I got in and second 'What is Acousmatic music?' It would be worth it, wouldn't it?).

As a change from music, Morphogenèse is just the thing. Listening to Latitudes again, I'm reminded of the first time I watched Apocalypse Now! at the cinema with the quad sound chopper blades whirring over my head. Nyström studies things like Spectromorphological Material and Spatial Texture, and in doing so, does all the hard work for us. Translating the technical theory into sound, he gives us the end results of all that thinking. My brain hurts just thinking about all the thinking he does. Thankfully, all we need is to do is open our ears....

...well, damn, that's not easy for some. No, let's not concern ourselves with the cloth-eared sheeple. You don't have to be a deep thinker to get something out of these sounds - in fact, it's best to be a bit dumb, like me, like children listening without historical baggage, the stuff that can clog our ears.

I won't attempt to describe the sounds on this album. I can't. Well, I could, but would fail miserably. So listen to the clip. Then buy it here

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