Saturday, October 27, 2007

I am responsible for me: 12 Bit Jimson's spooky machine

Some years after the goofy (if gallows) humor of Zsa-Zsa's Bra, I went all Sybil again and sprouted another musical persona: 12 Bit Jimson.

Glen/Harry Glen/Harry was the flagship tune. The most nutty and least problematic of the Jimson armada.

Listening to sensationalist talk radio while processing expense reports for some engineer's business trip to Malaysia, I had my boombox taping (yep, that same boombox . . . pictured here). After hours, I sampled the better parts of what was passing for public discourse, sampled my own absurd two cents worth and there you go.

Wick (Not Exist)
I bothered to send reel tapes of Glen/Harry to a few local college radio stations. But something like Wick, dependent on audio clips taken from a few movies (mostly The Loved One), seemed to be an invitation to litigation. Even in those early, innocent days of sampling everything in earshot.

While it seems the height of hypocrisy that visual artist can freely collage items and appropriate and aural artists can't, such is the way of things.

And though these are my works to which I claim authorship & copyright, I post them here as fun things I did without commercial intent. Add to that my lack of deep pockets and I think we can move on to other controversy . . .

Just so you're warned:

Our next tune plays postmodern havoc with a widely practiced and revered prayer. It also plays havoc with advertising promises, talk radio advice and the male voice of authority. It plays havoc, period.

If that's not your sort of thing, don't go listening to this next tune.

Blesséd (Grace)
Blesséd is a bit like Glen/Harry. Both have exponents of old and new, faith & reason. More important is how in both there's a balance of trust a listener has in one voice or another, perhaps agreeing with words spoken by one but preferring the tone of the other.

I didn't even know the prayer I had sampled was Hail Mary. I wasn't raised a Catholic and I'm not one now. But the tone of the priest in terms of pure sound (low, resonant) and emotion (calm, abiding) is a ground for the whole piece. And yet the sense of the words is held in suspension, floating with the more overwrought, overplayed tone and rhetoric of the other voices. Held in the same skeptical regard.

My personal views aside, I think a more powerful bias of mine is sound over sense, musicality over meaning, context over content.

So the person I should have the most common cause with in Glen/Harry, the man who insists "I am responsible . . .": I really can't trust the guy. He tries too hard, strives too much to be reasonable. In my sonic drama (where this man is only a character, not his full-blooded self), you can hear he's doomed to break from the strain.

There's more to say down the line, about life in the wake of Massive Resistance or some such. Later, maybe.


1 comment:

Amy O. said...

"Sound over sense.." that's why music is the hypnotic tool of choice. And I'm not about to resist!

Great composition man. A groove that is anything but mindless.