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enrmp181 - megatone - imago mundi nova
Author: Marcel Gherman
Artwork: Mihai Tarus
Front cover: Compressed time 9
Back cover: Compressed time 10
1. Imago Mundi Nova pt 1
2. Imago Mundi Nova pt 2
3. Imago Mundi Nova pt 3
5. Point X
Musician, radio DJ and journalist from Moldova.
Between 1994 and 2003 author of programs on electronic music on the
national radiostation of Moldova, including programs "Techno Mix"
and "Zona De Limita". Since 1994 author of numerous articles in the
local press, in publications Saptamina, Democratia, Sud-Est Cultural
Currently working for magazine Sud-Est Cultural and sustaining a
permanent header in magazine Contrafort. Has a particular interest
for Indian spirituality, most notably the Advaita Vedanta doctrine
and the works of Sri Aurobindo. Music released on international labels
and broadcasted on more than 20 international radiostations.
RELEASES ON CD
"A Journey To The Core Of Reality" (Tibprod)
"Mulberry Forest Voyage" (Krakilsk)
"Vicious" (in collaboration with Kenji Siratori) (Hypermodern)
Tracks on compilations:
"Flying Dragon" - compilation "Cat-Zen Jammer" (Tibprod)
"Space Station" - compilation "Noise To Meet You Europe" (Simlog)
"Bindu (Lifeforce)" - compilation "The Scariest Weapon vol. 3"
(Invasion Wreck Chords, distributed thru Ant-Zen and Adnoiseam)
"Eden 2007" - compilation "Season Of Snow And Ice" (Zaftig Research)
"Nirvana" compilation "Tranchillizer" (Peak, quoted as one of this years
most successful psychedelic chill out compilations)
"Universal Memory Access" compilation "Dark Ambient Radio vol. 1"
"Obsidian" compilation "60X60 International Mix" (from a selection of
electroacoustic tracks by international artists previously presented in
concerts, at festivals and universities in USA and abroad, including
presentations at Oxford and Cambridge, and featuring an audiovisual
collaboration with video artist Zlatko Cosic, recently presented on
french TV channel TNA) (Vox Novus).
MP3 ONLINE RELEASES:
"Eden" netlabel Protoplazma
"First Space Voyage" netlabel Enough
"Moon" netlabel Axesscode
Selection of tracks on netlabel Electronichunt
IMAGO MUNDI NOVA
Minialbum "Imago Mundi Nova" was inspired by an exposition of painter
Mihai Tarus, a follower of Sterligov and Malevich. This exposition
entitled "Pictural Assemblage" impressed me especially by the presence
in it of a cycle of works called "Compressed Time". The main theme of
minialbum "Imago Mundi Nova" is the influence that non-figurative
fine arts can have on electronic music as morphing soundscapes, textures
and sonic sculptures. The avantgarde movement in fine arts from the
beginning of the 20th century, whose axiom was "Imago mundi nova, imago nulla",
was discomposing object and form into elementary particles and then
reassembling it at a higher level, in a scrambled and deconstructed
way, into a surreality. This method of deconstruction may be applied
in electronic music as well. The music in minialbum "Imago Mundi Nova"
is not based on sound objects, but rather on waves and currents of
deconstructed sonic particles.
There is a model of development in time that all temporal arts follow,
in every work of music or literature, in theatre and film. In fact,
this archetype is omnipresent in nature, at all levels, from micro
to macro. All things start from an initial balance, following a
disbalance, towards a new equilibrium, all objects lose themselves in
order to find themselves again, everything begins from a primordial unity,
following multiplicity, in order to retrieve this unity, as the evolution
of the universe from a Big Bang, thru an expansion, towards an implosion
and a collapse in a singularity.
The tracks on minialbum "Imago Mundi Nova" tend to follow this model
thru typically electronic means of expression, thru stable and unstable
forms, with a culmination placed in the point of the Golden Section
proportion. They portray time, history and future as waves in hyperspace,
the feeling of future at this dawn of the 21st century.
SOUND ART: THE CONCEPTUAL LANGUAGE OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC
The mutations that produce within the worlds cultural paradygm impose
as an imperative of the day the search for new languages of expression
for an adequation to reality. In this context, electronic music is by
definition a product of change. As generally accepted by the theorists
of this genre, unlike traditional music which is based on melody, tonality
and rhythm, electronic music has as primary resource of expression the
sound itself, being therefore also defined by the notion of sound art.
At the present, electronic instruments are capable of synthesizing,
practically, any possible sound, offering an extraordinary creative freedom.
These artifficial sounds cover the entire spectrum of human sensations,
from states of bliss to depression, from calm to agitation, from pleasure
to pain. There can be created objectual sounds that imitate real ambiences
sound of rain, of forest, flowing river water an equivalent of the
hyperrealistic computer graphics which the spectator doesnt distinguish
any more from reality. Also there can be created abstract sounds that would
evoke the deepest layers of the subconsciousness.
If traditional music is determined by rigid rules, then in electronic music
everything is possible. The artist has the freedom to define by himself the
principles by which his creation functions and the way it is supposed to
act on the listener. If written language is, from a certain point of view,
a rearranging of preexisting words, then in electronic music we are capable
to generate from void the atoms of language.
The phenomenon of electronic music evolved within the more general context
of the avantgarde movement initiated at the beginning of the 20th century,
in parallel with the wave of change in fine arts and literature. The surrealist
group of Andre Breton was separating itself from the conventions of realism
and tended to transcend form and matter, orienting itself towards a
metaphysical, impersonal art that would operate with symbols and archetypes,
represented in painting by Malevichs cycle of "Supremacy". In the first
period, Debussys innovative ideas have lead to the creation in collaboration
with russian engineer Lev Teremin of the electronic instrument Teremin Vox,
which was marking a separation from the principles of tonal music. Schoenberg
and Webern gave their own contribution to the elaboration of a new musical
language thru the conception of dodecaphonic music, as well as Olivier Messiaen,
whose pantheist and transcultural vision resulted in an unexpected fusion
between european and indian musical theory. And his two genius disciples,
Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis, transformed electronic music into
an acomplished artistic genre.
If traditional art has at its origin a dualist conception, which values the
harmonious element and eliminates disharmony, then the avantgarde art, which
electronic music is part of, is based on a holistic vision, according to which
all nuances are equally important. In dodecaphonic music there are no more
harmonies and dissonances, but rather only stable and unstable structures
thru which the artist elaborates the temporal dimension of a musical piece.
A valuable example can be found in Iannis Xenakis piece "Metastasis",
which starts with a state of equillibrium, in order to explore afterwards
the extremes of disharmony and to return in the end to a new harmony. The
theme of "Metastasis" is the worlds condition after the shock of the second
world war. The series of compositions created by Xenakis on electronic
instrument UPIC, including composition "Mycenae Alpha", contributed decisively
to the elaboration of new sound morphology. UPIC is capable of transforming
graphic images into sound and operates with microtonal units of up to
120 divisions in an octave. The cycle of compositions "Kontakte" by
Karlheinz Stockhausen, dominated by synthesized percussive sounds, became
equally important in the process of creation of the electronic music expression.
Nevertheless, despite the apparent differences, the general form of
development of a classical work is identical with the one of an experimental
piece. Both follow the same path from an initial balance, thru a disbalance
and a development, followed by a concentration of energy and a culmination,
that leads to a new balance and, also, in both cases is applied the proportion
of the Golden Section. In fact, all temporal arts music, literature or
theatre tend to imitate this universal archetype of form that is omnipresent
in nature. Within the perpetual cycles of nature, all objects lose themselves
in order to find themselves again and thru this journey they become
self-complete. Every artistic creation appears therefore as a mathemathical
equation that tends to a solving, following a universal code of life. This
idea reminds us of Mircea Eliades "Myth of Eternal Return", who affirmed that
symbols and archetypes, when applied in art, can contain a volume of knowledge
larger than it could be ever expressed thru spoken language.
There are computer programs capable of transforming any multidimensional
data into sound. All databases extracted from nature, as for example, the
topographic maps of the oceans, or even the graphics of financial evolution
of corporations, manifest a surprising musicality. There were also conducted
experiences of transforming sequences from DNA code into music. An example is
the piece "S2 Translation" created by band The Shamen in collaboration with
biologist Ross King and included in the album "Axis Mutatis" (1995). For this
track a DNA sequence was transposed on notes, and various data, as solubility
in water or reaction to light, were applied to sound parameters.
The result of this experience is very surprising. An uninitiated listener
of track "S2 Translation" would be witnessing a melodic structure of an
extraordinary complexity, without even suspecting that the author of this
composition is not a man, but the Creator himself.
Electronic music is therefore a mean for gaining knowledge. The symbols and
abstract forms to which this language appeals encourage us to decypher the
access code to natures mainframe, in order to solve the final enigma of life.
Magazine Contrafort, April 2008
Translated from romanian
THE FOURTH ELEMENT
In shamanic practices there are two basic techniques for inducing a person
into trance: sensory overload and sensory deprivation. Both infinite motion
and its absence reveal the still and unchanging element in the world. To know
this immobility within the stream of time and space is to find the common
factor, the continuity, the universal model and the archetype present in part,
to find the infinite and eternal within finite. Indian spiritual tradition
considers that Nirvana can be attained thru a simple elimination of all
thoughts and impressions that come to our mind, this way the deepest layer
of our self and of reality is brought to surface, as an ultimate truth.
According to the legend, this condition has been attained by Buddha thru a
total renounciation, a truly difficult mission indeed because of our high
degree of attachment to the objects and forces of the material world. During
some experiments of exploration of total sensory deprivation, in which a person
is introduced into a water reservoir, it has been observed that during the
first 15 minutes the subjects consciousness is dominated by residual thoughts.
After that comes a period of discomfort and panic, which, if overcome,
is followed by visions and hallucinations.
Silence, as the expression of what remains when all audio sensory signals are
eliminated, represents the substrata of reality, the common space in which all
sounds manifest. The fact that we are capable of perceiving silence means that
this substrata exists.
The hindu text Mandukya Upanishad which is part of the Vedanta philosophy
defines the primordial sound that created the world, the Omkara, as a universal
archetype that dominates on all levels of existence. Represented by the
syllable Aum, it is compared to the sound of a bell, that appears from void in
order to return to infinity. This sound consists of three parts, beginning,
middle and end, which symbolize past, present and future, the forces of
creation, conserrvation and destruction, the three Gunas or basic attributes
of human nature and the three states of consciousness: awakening, dream and
deep sleep. These basic elements constitute the threefold fundament of our
world of multiplicity.
At the same time, in Mandukya Upanishad it is also mentioned the existence
of a fourth hidden element, which is a sublevel of the first three elements,
the common space in which they occur, their true nature. According to the text
Maitrayana-Brahmaya Upanishad, the threefold elemts are an illusion and only
the fourth is real and represents the truth. It is the existence that precedes
essence and causality, that being, that ens that escapes to rational knowledge
based on logic and deduction. Wittgenstein wrote in his "Tractatus
Logico-Philosophicus" that "...mystic is not the way the universe fuctions,
but the fact that it exists". Hindu tradition affirms as well that pure
existence (Sat) is the first attribute of the universal spirit.
In music, silence represents the same as a canvas for a painting or an
unwritten page for a book. The famous jazz musician John Coltrane stated
that the best music is based on silence. By contemplating this substrata
in a work of art, we perceive the presence of the eternal in time.
There is an archetype of form that applies not only to temporal arts
literature, music, theatre but also in spatial arts, as painting, sculpture
or architecture. It remains even when the method of deconstruction is applied
to the extreme, as it happens in the case of audiovisual installations that
imply conceptual time, or in the use of the cut-up technique or the surrealist
automatism in literature. This universal model consists of an initial balance,
followed by a disbalance and a development which leads to a maximum
concentration of energy and a culmination placed in the point of the
Golden Section, which ends into a new equillibrium. The cycle is reproduced
perpetually in nature, being applied at all of its levels. It is the rhythm of
life. The purpose of this path would be to reveal in the moment of culmination
the Fourth Element, the presence of the atemporal in time, a certain subtle
harmony and equillibrium that remains in the extreme disbalance and chaos. By
participating at this process in nature, by passing thru this experience, we
find something that can nevcr be lost, that which is infinite, self-complete,
eternal and indestructible, the harmony that dominates in chaos, the light
that conquers darkness and so we overcome our doubt and become firm and strong.
From the moment when we find a certain living proof for the presence of this
superior equillibrium, no force in the universe, nothing and noone can
influence us anymore. Then we overcome ourselves and we transcend the world.
This decisive moment is present in a musical piece, in a fiction story, in a
human life and in the evolution of a universe. It is important to experience
Magazine Contrafort, may 2008
Translated from romanian