“out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field
I’ll meet you there”
–Jalaluddin Rumi (from the liner notes)
Here we are in the field, all frameworks missing, fossilised rules of engagement cracked and broken on the shard-strewn ground… Three maestr@s, three voices, with neither guidelines nor limits nor sense of ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’, just sound… You’re no longer in Kansas or any other earthly state, so stop the fruitless search for convention or recognisable meaning – just listen, accept, dissolve, and enter the Eris136199 dreammare…
Opener Ballad of Tensegrity (I & II) tunes the wireless. Against a background hum/whine, the signal skips and bounces, cohesion elusive, distortion and static crackle, Sikora’s full tone erupts, sublime and sinuous, as a tachyon guitar travels backwards in staccato strides the other moans, howls, slices and shapes… It’s a sweet thing, this ballad.
Elsewhere (elseworld?) a noir-ish saxophone voice pays out Ariadne’s thread, leading through an intricate labyrinth of Peculiar guitar glitch dialogue. Whereas in Sleeping Dragon, Ariadne withholds a while, leaving us with two sculptors simultaneously chipping away at the same block of sound – filigree within filigree – Mandelbrot-ing onwards beyond the threshold of the merely human ear.
And is it just me, or is there something (slightly asymmetrically) palindromic about Polytely I and Polytely II: Breakdown? Either way, it’s mind-twisting stuff. Intensely ‘musical’ (whatever that means) and harshly jarring, gently testing Broca’s convolutions, seeking points of entry and storage, delicately inserting sounds, probing for reaction, disconcertion and delight. (i.e. It gets inside your head. Right in there. Can’t stop it.)
Throughout “Peculiar Velocities”, moments of beauty swirl and dance with abstract impenetrability; an auto-dancing trichotomy of quasi-opposites, queasily attracting… Eris136199 is an uncomfortable joy, a can’t-be-reproduced-in-the-laboratory combination of rare elements*, a new musical alloy, an ongoing experiment, the perfect distillation of uneasy listening.
“…there is a field…” And in that field are three voices: 1+1+1=1
All too incomprehensible? TL;DR? Then dip back into the liner notes:
“There is a sense of the entirely unexpected somehow also being inevitable.”
That’s it. In the nutshell.
* For perceptual context, I’m re-reading Dan Simmons’ Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion right now and that weird, literary sci-fi is probably why I hear three contrary but inseparable voices: human, AI, and alien. (Which is which, though?)
Ballad of Tensegrity I
Ballad of Tensegrity II
Peculiar Velocities I
Peculiar Velocities II
Polytely II: Breakdown
Peculiar Velocities is available on CD and to download from Han-earl Park’s Bandcamp page.