Tag Archives: Oh Light

Oh Light – A Conversation Across Disciplines with Musician and Writer Eric Lindley of Careful

Oh Light, Eric Lindley’s latest album as Careful, is a well crafted example of sonic Alchemy. As he explains in his essay for Indigest Magazine on the process of creating the album, it was a harrowing month of experimentation in his girlfriend’s closet that lead to the emergence of a unified and beautiful vision through “multiple guitars (plucked and bowed), mbira, flute, punch-card music-box, toy percussion, and hundreds of layers of vocals.”

With a background that includes time at Dartmouth College studying under experimental composer and musical theorist Larry Polansky, and at Cal Arts with the minimalist pioneer James Tenney studying music and cognition, much of his live performance has been focused on creating participatory installation works that use biofeedback to create a direct interaction with the audience. Biofeedback, for Lindley, has become a tool for focusing on the listening experience to better understand composition.

It also changes the way that he experiences music. Through Biofeedback Lindley is able to tap in to a deeper understanding of how harmonic elements come into play in changing and enhancing emotional responses. It gives him a direct look at how the listener is being physically affected by the experience they are having.

While building one of the devices he uses in his installation pieces, a friend of Lindley’s helped him test the GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) sensor by using it to monitor their meditation. These direct applications show the potential for those willing to explore a wider understanding of the creative process to have a deeper relationship with sound and art.

Continue reading

If you dream of a dog and he bites you

Pythagorean theories on the harmony of the celestial spheres postulate correspondences stretching through the abstraction of number, sound and into light.

The difficulty for many has been crafting representations through art that encompass this process and remain comprehensible and communicative.

An Unfinished Substance: Cut-up#5 - Life Science Library ‘Matter’ 1963 - Zac Odin

Harry Everett Smith created hand painted films that were accompanied initially by jazz music. In subsequent screenings the music changed to fit the time period, Smith wanted contemporary music played with his films based on when they were screened, not when they were made. His visual explorations were meant to encompass universal themes that would remain current with each new iteration of music.

[open myth source] – “where the recombining of elements and the interactive process is more important than the product.”

A Bright Matter: Cut-ups - Life Science Library ‘Matter’ 1963 (Final Result) - Zac Odin

“Differing from other music, here soundscape is no longer the background but the foreground as the sound collage drives the experience; sound is now the story that we process and interpret individually and collectively.

A series of segways or glimpses into in the Sonic – Human Interface.” – Willi Paul : [open myth source] myth as soundscape

Pythagoras and his followers saw these correspondences through imaginal means. Mathematical relationships were concrete realities.  Philosophical epiphanies were arrived at through intense meditation, cementing the relationships in their minds.

The sounds and their direct relationship to mathematics were tied through ritual to corresponding emotional states. This, tied with image, creates a mnemonic device for encompassing a wider set of information. Allegorical stories along with music create a dynamic vehicle.

“I think that with music you can really accelerate dramatic moments because of the kind of ineffable shorthand of certain musical conventions, or musical innovations that just make sense, and bypass rational judgment in a way that writing can’t always do, or takes longer to do.” – Eric Lindley, Careful -Oh Light – A Conversation

“Over coffee and liqueurs we would sometimes listen to John Jacob Niles’ recordings. Our favorite was ‘I Wonder As I Wander,’ sung in a clear, high-pitched voice with a quaver and a modality all his own. The metallic clang of his dulcimer never failed to produce ecstasy. He had a voice which summoned memories of Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere. There was something of the Druid in him. Like a psalmist, he intoned his verses in an ethereal chant which the angels carried aloft to the Glory seat. When he sang of Jesus, Mary and Joseph they became living presences. A sweep of the hand and the dulcimer gave forth magical sounds which caused the stars to gleam more brightly, which peopled the hills and meadows with silvery figures and made the brooks to babble like infants. We would sit there long after his voice had faded out, talking of Kentucky where he was born, talking of the Blue Ridge mountains and the folk from Arkansas…” –Henry Miller, Plexus pp. 366-367.

The Royal Portion - Paracharattein to Nomisma

7687. If you dream of a dog and he bites you, you will have good luck – Harry Middleton Hyatt,  Folklore from Adams County Illinois

I decided to test the [open myth souce] idea and used two Willi Paul’s [open myth source] tracks and then layered guitar over them. I slowed down one of the WP tracks & messed with the stereo, Lft/Rt channels to build out the sound a bit.  Fiddle with it in Win Movie Maker and it’s a picture with sound that can be used to accompany the pictures and text in this post created from the elements at hand.

*this post is a collage of quotes from other sources, images from Zac Odin and  Paracharattein to Nomisma, along with text taken from discarded portions of an upcoming Alarm Magazine article on ‘audible color’. Another experiment with the open myth source concept.