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Monday, April 23, 2018

Query Expressions

Episode Seventy-One: Query Expressions.
In which Art extols the fractal.

1 comment:

  1. Forming coherence from seeming nothingness: listening for patterns in chaos, descending into darkness - this process inevitably leads to staring at the ceiling in the dead-of-night dread. Query Expressions: I take on a database project at work, and know not what will come of it. I am not even sure of what to ask to receive the results I want, let alone the results I need.

    Art's resolution? "An Arc Of Doves," from 'Ambient 2, The Plateau of Mirror' (1980).

    This album has thwarted me for years as for years I put it on thinking it is 'Fourth World, Vol.1 : Possible Musics' (1980). Confusing my Harold Budd for John Hassell; the two records are miles apart style-wise. Once (or possibly even twice) I even purchased the one thinking it were the other.

    I've finally gotten them straight in my head - this last year has been a resurgence of interest in the Ambient series with sustained and engaged listening - and had put on Ambient 2 one evening with the intent of getting to know it better, feeling a little sheepish that it was perhaps the least familiar to me of all the series. It washed along in the distance until I noticed one piece, "An Arc Of Doves," and found my attention drawn toward it. There's an approaching and receding synth sound supporting the bouncing piano that reminded me directly of a sound on the flip side of the 'Heroes' (1977) LP (I think), and that connection opened up the record to me. Somehow, the sound experiments on Bowie's Berlin Trilogy have more character and motive than most of the Ambient pieces I can think of, with the exception of each of the 'Music For Films' (1978, 1983, 1988) series.

    The key-to-the-album I found in "An Arc Of Doves" was a sweet surprise - so nice to be continually rewarded by good art. And the image itself, the Golden Spiral, the fractal pattern, so edifying (which is, no doubt, why it is the title). Have also discovered there is a (Japanese?) electronic recording artist using that same name.

    The line from the first frame is from a podcast interview with someone working for SETI, describing the absurdity of his career choice.

    Guy holds an egg of spring. I think Vermont is finally giving into the season, though this morning I was still scraping ice from my windshield.

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