Unstable Rotation Centers
The fall rains, so rarely seen this year, blow cold against my cheek. Generally during this time of year I find myself leaning on old records such as The Nudes by Pele to guide me into winter. Being my first fall season out here in Minnesota the season moves much faster and with more aggression. Needing something more direct and to the point Martin Back’s newest release, Unstable Rotation Centers, provides a good backing to this new experience.
Martin Back approaches music with extreme precision and deliberate movement. We had been communicating on and off for some months based off of a single track he had sent in and I had trust and faith his deliberation would provide something fully complete. Here are Martin’s notes on these tracks:
(maximal) minor mutations was composed with Arun Chandra’s powerful ‘Wigout’ software. Wigout allows the composer to link periods of square waves with independent control over duration and amplitutde. In this work multitudes of square waves progress slowly in and out of tandem around a common frequency center.
Music for Early June is the first work completed upon moving from Santa Fe, NM to Denton, TX and, as such, is a study of my new sonic environment. This recording is typical of the sonic palette of my neighborhood in the summer months (indeed, the recording could be doubly titled, ‘Music for Neighborhood’). Various spectra of the original field recording were used as virtual voltage control to activate sawtooth waves, which are heard as accompaniment in the final work.
TrafficCricket/LaundryMoth is a graphic score which requires players to very consciously transport themselves to a precisely described sonic environment. As such it asks players to interpret layers of that sonic environment in a deliberate and purposeful way without regard for imitation or self-expression. This recording was made by members of the Ancestral Groan Liberation Orchestra: Martin Back, percussion and voice; James Bixler, electric bass guitar and voice; David Hevener, amplified cajon; Philip Mantione, guitar and percussion; Christian Pincock, trombone and electronics; Walter Menetrey, guitar and voice.
Unstable Rotation Centers uses the ‘ScrollGrid1D’ object available in the Pure Data software. This object virtually represents the process of a scroll-type strange attractor as audio signal. I used this audio signal to frequency modulate several oscillators. The resulting ‘composition’ is nothing more than the unmediated behavior of the attractor as it iterates from its initial parameter settings.