Last week I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a fairly bad cancer of the bone marrow. The good news is that I am relatively young to be diagnosed with this disease and it seems that it was detected early. The bad news is that, well, it’s a ‘bad’ cancer to have. I think I’m about to embark on yet another life adventure. Hmmmmmmm.
It is a very interesting and thought-provoking read, making you reflect on life. While reading, I have also been listening to the two pieces he has composed lately (mm-1 and mm-2 snow), two slowly evolving ambient pieces built around a simple concept:
With mm-1, for example, I use four chords. Me, Jill, Lian, Daniel — my immediate existence. They cycle, chaconne-like, I don’t want them to end. For the choral sound I start out with a simple recording of my own voice singing “aaaah”. Why? It’s me. It’s my voice. I want to live forever. I don’t want to die. I slather on a lot of reverberance, it gives the sounds a location, a distance, a space. Paul Lansky challenged me to write a piece without reverb and echo, but for now I want to take refuge in the cathedral. Then I focus on the timbre by centering several digital filters. Get it? Focus on parts of life? This actually makes sense to me! The ticking of the marimba-like counterpoint, the workings of existence, it all fits into my bizarro metaphor-world. Totally arbitrary to be sure, and totally divorced from any musically-grounded structural system, but it all seems like it is real.
Brad’s music resonates very well with his story.