Realm of Knowing
During the sessions for 'Found Noises and Sonic Detritus' [my band collaboration with Paul Christensen and producer Rutger Holst, aka: Elysium], I felt it was time to explore other musical avenues. I began writing more avant-garde pieces - some were piano meditations, others involved treated mallets, while some were orchestral explorations performed on trombone and French horn. The project has come to be known [at least by me] as 'Cagean Lullabies', after my early musical mentor, the late John Cage. While the material for that release [date pending] is all but in the can, persistent ideas to expand on my ambient and electronic musings would not let go. The addition of some new virtual instruments and the increasing opportunities afforded to me by Ableton Live made their influence felt, and without even trying, I began writing tracks that would evolve into this recording. The opening number, 'Chaos, Contained' pretty much sums up the nature of that particular track: it is probably the closest I've come to imagining the halcyon days of electronic music in the early 70's, where the lines between 'progressive' and 'electronic' were being summarily blurred by the likes of Richard Pinhas, Larry Fast, and pre-Rubycon Tangerine Dream. As I was working on the music for what would become the album's title track, the idea of integrating an air of progressive rock via electric guitar came to me. I worked on various strategies on guitar and e-bow, when for reasons even I am not cognizant of, I decided to go another route. I went back to the as yet-unreleased electro-prog project Notice, where I was joined by saxophone player Dana Colley and blues guitarist Ted Drozdowski, and began listening to Ted's solos. I isolated his playing on one track, inserted it into my Live program, tweaked the effects and altered the pitch slightly, and as Emeril would say, 'BAM!' It worked amazingly well! And so for the rest of the sessions, I approached each piece devoid of any preconceived notions, and if an idea or inspiration came, instead of testing the waters, I simply surrendered the process totally. It led to such treatments as the NASA transmission on 'Floatation Module', which instead of the usual astro-speak, features the crew of Apollo 8 reciting from the book of Genesis; the simulated animal sounds permeating 'Calling All Lifeforms'; the unfettered, trance-like synthesizers on 'Pale Horizons', and the unexpected guitar solo which appears at the halfway-mark of 'The Realm Of Knowing.' I also kept the recording simple - no more than eight tracks were used per composition, and the only bouncing done was to a two-track stereo master. And since many of the virtual instruments were modeled after their analog antecedents, I was able to literally program them and change any sonic parameter I chose, minus the heavy lifting. Probably not since 2006's 'Bremsstrahlung' has a suite of compositions seemed so organically bound to one another as on this recording. May it reveal it's internal mysteries and mechanisms to you the same way they captured my imagination when writing them. DG.