Download LP – 10 tracks
03. ‘Synthi AKS waves’
06. ‘A chime of psalters’
08. ‘The psaltery sea’
09. ‘A likely outcome’
10. ‘Arithmetic in the dark’
I like to imagine a time and place where arithmetic is done in a natural way by simply experiencing the unique possibility offered by sound, that of distinguishing simultaneous differences; the non-displacing waves of either AND both. Despite the observations of cool cats like Bill Sethares on the subjective nature of the octave´s perception, one fact remains unfailingly true. An octave is a doubling of frequency – the higher octave has exactly twice the number of vibrations per second than the lower. I am imagining a planet without the invention of writing, even of symbols and scratchings in the sand where, on hearing the sound of a child and an adult singing together, a listener is doing a multiplication by two in a mathematics without signs; arithmetic in the dark.
The album consists of a set of 10 works which focus on repetition and change. The pieces evolve mostly through the active perception of the listener. Saccades and oto-acoustic emissions are evidence that perception is far from passive reception. The transmitting ear determines much about what it takes in. [Anthony Moore, Arles, November 2018]
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
In the liner notes, Anthony Moore – the co-author of one of my all-time favourite songs – talks of ‘the unique possibility offered by sound, that of distinguishing simultaneous differences’. In another section of his introduction to Arithmetic In The Dark, he states that ‘saccades and oto-acoustic emissions are evidence that perception is far from passive reception’. Not a truer word. ‘Passive reception’ is in fact an outcome of the disgraceful condition which isolates will-deprived people, as opposed to human specimens who need no external authority to decide how they should think, eat, vote and – in general – behave.
The question arises: are the aforementioned perceptive possibilities pursuable by everybody? As one observes the reaction of an average individual subjected to certain types of aural stimulus, or to a reiterative selection of sonic grains, the answer is an unmerciful ‘no’. Presumed evolved persons simply refuse to conform to substances that do not fit in their phobic requisites: repetition will upset them, whereas selected waveforms cause out-and-out interior disruption. Risible theories about healing vibrations – also known as ‘inevitably consonant placebo effect’ – are ceaselessly spewed around; needless to say, all of them entirely miss the point of what can’t be understood without being born in sound. For the latter is a gift, not something that can be taught or applied to miserably anthropocentric conceptions of ‘perfection’.
Still, in our residual hopes this album may act as a preliminary training for minds struggling against the quicksands of enforced formulation, in order to explore the realms of non-intellectual discernment. Its constitution merges intelligently designed resonant materials – including processed voice – with minimalistic expansions of sentience. Some of the traits are extremely soothing in their indisputable profundity; other episodes suggest alternative routes, fragmenting the mechanisms of apprehension while structuring the cerebral polyphony invoked by the composer. Two pieces featuring the psaltery as a primary source depict at best the correspondence between a vanishing self and a group of beneficial frequencies. Because when all is said and done, what we’re dealing with here is exactly that: a focused musician suggesting practicable paths to an enhanced cognizance.