Since I was a kid I have been interested in different concepts of time (thanks to Robert Zemeckis). Even today questions like linear vs cyclic time or single vs multiple timelines are very central to my music. Yesterday I watched a documentary about the Antikythera mechanism and was reminded of the amazing possibilities of today’s technology in modeling multiple timelines.
The Tuvans have a special way to think about time. While in the Western world it is common to think of future as being infront of of us, in the Tuvan worldview the future is behind us. So, instead of looking back to what I did last year, I could take a Tuvan look behind my shoulder to see what’s coming next.
In 2013 I did one major project: the Kumea Sound album. It was a huge effort in trying to combine my street music to my background as an electronic musician. To be honest, I had probably too many ideas, but in the end I had an album ready that I’m happy with. That said, it does feel more like a beginning than an end-product.
Probably my two favourite tracks of the album are Tantra and Frog’n’Bell. They both have a structure that is seemingly simple. They are looping, circular compositions that evolve hardly at all in terms of melody, rhythm or harmony. They twirl around same themes and only a few new elements are introduced throughout the tracks. What makes them special to me is how they combine a cyclic element with a linear element. Their structure seems free and defined at the same time.
Some of Brian Eno’s classic ambient works are more cyclic than linear. William Basinski used tape loops, but added a linear dimension to the compositions by capturing their gradual decay process while playing them back. Would it be possible to add even more timelines? On a record, maybe, but what about during a live performance? What about sound installation?
The Antikythera mechanism allowed the Greek to study multiple timelines of celestial objects in a single mechanical composition. With the machine it was possible to view circular timelines next to each other and observe their relation on a linear timeline. But psychological time is different. The logic of the heart is different. My ultimate aim is to combine the mathematical elegance of the Antikythera mechanism with the chaotic soul particles, not by fusing them into one singular object, but by letting them co-exist within a same space… I have some ideas what this could be in practice. You’ll see.
Ok, back to work! I’ll announce some extremely interesting Helsinki-based sound art projects soon!