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<  Deep Prime  ~  composition style

PostPosted: April 30th, 2007, 4:43 pm
Posts: 4Joined: July 31st, 2006, 2:11 am
I have a question for B.: you have a rather visual, sometimes almost tactile musical style which gives the hearer a strong sense of specific environments. The music also tends to be somewhat soundtrackish, so there's often the vague impression of a storyline developing in the course of an album. I wondered how this mirrors the composing process: do you have a specific visual image or idea or story in mind when you compose a track resp. an album? As far as I remember, you once said there was some Lovecraft influence on "Black Stars"? And does the line from Milton floating around in "Heresy" imply that this album somehow mimicks the sounds of hell? I know that some "ambient" composers use storyboards in order to match the music to their interior imagery; does something similar happen in your case?

While I'm at it, how "serious" are the scientific/proto-scientific terms that keep popping up in your song titles to taken? "Black Stars" would be a good example for this: did you use extraterrestrial radio waves as source material for that, or or perhaps Pythagorean music theory or something? Just wondering...

By the way, thanks for the all those beautiful soundscapes.


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PostPosted: April 30th, 2007, 10:17 pm
User avatarPosts: 170Location: GAJoined: December 21st, 2006, 11:04 pm
yemenite,

i have to complement you on the writing of this question. after reading it, i realized, "i'm wondering the same thing."


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PostPosted: May 28th, 2007, 11:39 am
User avatarAdminPosts: 612Location: Los AngelesJoined: November 19th, 2005, 10:22 am
I meant to respond to this a while back but kept forgetting. Been more than distracted by recording the next Lustmord album and work on Puscifer, plus a few emergencies behind the scenes here.

None of my work has a "story" or is a "soundtrack" to any narrative. Each is structured around very specific ideas, some of which resurface and/or cross-reference.
Each album is about ideas, and all but the first two and Rising are meant to take you to a place that only exists when the music is heard. I don't give specifics about the ideas represented as an important factor is working it out for yourself, and if along the way you branch off along a path of your own, that's equally valid. The purpose is that you use a little imagination of your own.
Titles, sleeve-notes etc should be viewed as clues, keys and ciphers.

I don't use anything like storyboards (there being no story) or any written outline or map, but each album is worked out in detail beforehand and I know pretty much exactly how each will sound and where it's going to go by the time I start actually recording. This can sometimes be a problem as often by the mixing stage I'm pretty much done with whichever album I'm working on and busy planning the next one.

Quote:
While I'm at it, how "serious" are the scientific/proto-scientific terms that keep popping up in your song titles to taken? "Black Stars" would be a good example for this: did you use extraterrestrial radio waves as source material for that, or or perhaps Pythagorean music theory or something? Just wondering...


Serious enough to matter. There are no extraterrestrial sources on Black Stars to the best of my memory, though there are on others.


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PostPosted: September 10th, 2008, 10:53 pm
Posts: 4Joined: July 31st, 2006, 2:11 am
Thanks for replying, B. These days, another question has come up: soon, I'll publish my dissertation (on "King Lear") and would like to put you on the list of people I thank on the "Acknowledgments" page. For there were moments when the work was getting quite cumbersome, and the "Heresy" album in the background tended to set me sufficiently on edge to keep me going. So, the music definitely has contributed to the completion of the work, and I thought I might as well acknowledge it. Are you okay with that, or do you consider that bumptious?


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PostPosted: September 12th, 2008, 4:11 pm
Posts: 3Joined: September 12th, 2008, 3:39 pm
yemenite wrote:
As far as I remember, you once said there was some Lovecraft influence on "Black Stars"?


This is sort of a tangent but I can't resist...

I always thought the album title The Place Where the Black Stars Hang was a reference to the supernatural horror fiction of Robert W. Chambers. The story "The Yellow Sign", for example, has the lines:

"Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies..."

Then in Chamber's story "The Repairer of Reputations" we have:

"One by one I studied the well-worn pages, worn only by my own handling,
and although I knew all by heart, from the beginning, "When from Carcosa,
the Hyades, Hastur, and Aldebaran..."

Which is relevant when you realize that The Place Where the Black Stars Hang has a track titled "Aldebaran of the Hyades". Lovecraft was aware of Chamber's fiction but only mentioned it once in his own work, referencing the name of the god Hastur in a line near the end of his "Whisperer in the Darkness".

Of course, I'm a big fan of the (sadly little) supernatural fiction Chambers wrote so it's entirely possible I'm just seeing what I want to see. If he has time and sees this, maybe B could confirm whether he's read any Chambers or if this is all a coincidence. (Aldebaran is, after all, a bright star located very near the Hyades star cluster and often mistaken as part of the cluster itself, so it'd be a natural enough to tie the two together)


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2008, 8:56 am
User avatarAdminPosts: 612Location: Los AngelesJoined: November 19th, 2005, 10:22 am
SylvF wrote:
I always thought the album title The Place Where the Black Stars Hang was a reference to the supernatural horror fiction of Robert W. Chambers.


The question has nothing to do with composition style, but since you asked, there is no Chambers reference in Black Stars.
There is one in The Monstrous Soul, but not any you allude to here.


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2008, 10:55 am
Posts: 4Joined: July 31st, 2006, 2:11 am
Just for the record, there is another allusion to Chambers in Lovecraft's "Through the Gates of the Silver Key".

Anyway, you don't seem to have answered my dissertation question, B.


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2008, 2:25 pm
User avatarAdminPosts: 612Location: Los AngelesJoined: November 19th, 2005, 10:22 am
yemenite wrote:
Anyway, you don't seem to have answered my dissertation question, B.


I missed it, probably only skimmed it saw it wasn't related ti the thread.

Sure no problem, it's appreciated, though I don't see it helping any with getting your work accepted ;)


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PostPosted: September 13th, 2008, 3:01 pm
Posts: 3Joined: September 12th, 2008, 3:39 pm
B wrote:
SylvF wrote:
I always thought the album title The Place Where the Black Stars Hang was a reference to the supernatural horror fiction of Robert W. Chambers.


The question has nothing to do with composition style, but since you asked, there is no Chambers reference in Black Stars. There is one in The Monstrous Soul, but not any you allude to here.


OK. Thank you for answering. Black Stars is one of my favorite ambient albums period, and I always kind of wondered.

yemenite wrote:
Just for the record, there is another allusion to Chambers in Lovecraft's "Through the Gates of the Silver Key".


Really? That one passed me by, what was it?


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PostPosted: September 17th, 2008, 1:51 am
Posts: 4Joined: July 31st, 2006, 2:11 am
B, thanks. I'll put you on the list then. I don't think it will boost the sales either, but that wasn't the point anyway. (Do you want a copy once the book's out? It'll be in German, though...)
Sorry for veering off the stated topic, by the way, but conversations always tend to do that...

Sylph, the allusion is in the passage on "the seer who said that he alone of living men had been to Yian-Ho, the hidden legacy of eon-old Leng, and had borne certain things away from that dreadful and forbidden city." Name of the town sound familiar?


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