New Album: The Crystal Pavilions, out now!

My Paul-Scheerbart-inspired album is available now on Bandcamp, with other platforms coming shortly (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music etc).

A bit more info below the fold...

So this has had quite a long gestation, and ended up a bit different from the original idea. I posted about that more than a year ago, when there was as yet no music. On paper, the idea was to explore a family of tunings I'd come up with. The final album doesn't do that, but I think the general mood I wanted to capture is there.

I don't have as much as usual to say about it, except perhaps to point out some similarities and differences compared with what I've done in the past. The instrumentation overlaps a lot with the Bluebird soundtrack I did last year, but this isn't offcuts from that; these pieces were conceived from the beginning to capture the different kinds of light Scheerbart conjures up in his writings.

His light can be cool and clear, and I wanted that in contrast to the murkiness I went for in Centaur -- there are lots of plucks, tinkles and sine tones in the mix, and even in a few places some drums. But there are also shafts of light that slant across each other, creating an effect of depth, and there are explosions of glittering lights and fireworks that dazzle and confuse the eyes. Sonically, these are often represented by noises, crackles and inharmonic modulations that evoke early radio transmissions, something Scheerbart was of course very excited about.

At the planning stage this project was as structured as Centaur had been, with specific scales and tunings arranged in symmetrical patterns throughout its runtime. All of that got thrown away; this music ended up being a series of fantasias in which all kinds of musical preoccupations got thrown in. There are melakatas and melakata tunings, 30-EDO subsets and awkward tuplets, all combined in a largely intuitive way.

I've enjoyed working in this looser way and I think Scheerbart might have approved; he was a modernist, but not the kind that liked the constraint of rigid systems.