Until the dream is knowledge and knowledge is a dream

My music project, a Lattice of Unplanned Measurements (see previous posts, or click here) took an unplanned (…) twist a few months ago when I was invited to play some of the music live at a party. While I played on all the recordings, I hadn’t conceived of the aLUM as performative; preparing the pieces to play live was not something I thought was feasible and didn’t fit with the intention of the project.

However, I was very interested in playing live.

So I worked out some new material, practiced, and played for a small group in early January.

It felt good. Playing for, and connecting with a live audience was very rewarding.

The music I played was much different than anything I’d posted before. In fact I’d developed some new scales, programmed a new synthesizer, created some adaptive backing tracks, etc. While I was pleased with everything, the works seemed like points on a curve leading elsewhere, and I don’t think I’ll post any of it.

At around the same time I was offered work doing R&D for a development group working with music, and tech. While I can’t go into details, it was acceptable to them, in fact preferable, if the ideas they were exploring were presented in the form of original music – meaning I was getting paid to compose and play – albeit within parameters specific to my client’s needs.

It was a great opportunity as it got me into a weekly compose/play groove and slowly my facility with the instruments I use improved to the point that playing my own work live seemed not only possible but preferable.

I’d received a few emails over the past year wondering if Lili and I were planning to do some shows incorporating her visuals and my music. I was timid about this as I’d been out of serious music making for quite a long time. I responded at the time with “that would be great, we’ll let you know”.

I’ve recently followed up on these and we’re planning some events beginning in June.

With all of that in mind, below are a few examples of the music I’m now making.

If you’ve listened to the early works you’ll notice the newer music is a different. I’m now using two scales simultaneously, one tuned to 432Hz and one to 440Hz, one a Hexany, and one a Dekany. I’m also using some generative synthesis techniques that are evident in the 2nd and 4th tracks below. The synths I’m using are playable, of course, so they’re responding to what I’m playing and have some ability to make decisions on their own.

I’m envisioning the music below as elements of one piece, that I’m tentatively naming Until the dream is knowledge and knowledge is a dream. Those words come from Delmore Schwartz’ At a Solemn Musick (linked below). I’ve sketched out a few additional movements and I’ll post them later.

I’m posting the piece in progress to give a few interested listeners a chance to hear what I’m working on to aid them in making some plans.

Lili will be working on the visuals this month, and we’ll post something when it is available.

But first:

At a Solemn Music (text), Delmore Schwartz

“Phoenix is the meaning of the fruit,
Until a dream is knowledge,
And knowledge is a dream….”

Part 1
Part 2, two scales, 432Hz and 440Hz
Part 3
Part 4, two scales, 432Hz and 440Hz