In two ambient works, musicians Cory Allen (Austin, Texas) and Marcus Fischer (Portland, Oregon) chart connected sound worlds mined from shared samples, in a sweeping opus of a musical environent. Released yesterday on February 22, coinciding with birthdays of the artist and Chopin, it generously has the you’ve-just-got-to-buy-this price of US$2.22, well worth adding to your downloaded collection.
The first track is nothing if not womb-like. It begins with a warm, pulsing hum, delicate tones peeking above the blur. Then it gradually succumbs to binaural fuzz, producing a whitened atmosphere of timbral architecture, an eneveloping mist punctuated by soft, insistent ticks. The second track feels more expansive, a trip on an alien sea that begins with creaking, ship-like wooden planks and sails into waves of sound and ringing timbre. With the arrival of the piano and strings in the second track, there is a renewed sense of musical groundedness: this is not just an endless drone, but a set of extended gestures.
There is a regular sense in the sound design of tonal centers, of lines and connections and progression behind the spray of sound. Accordingly, our friend Marc Weidenbaum, whose blog disquiet has been a compass for online releases of ambient and experimental music, has contributed some thoughts on just that topic of congruity in notes for the album. He fits those, of course, into 222 words:
The Internet is a congruity engine. The ceaseless churn of online databases aligns any two or more things found to have in common any one thing.
Cities with similar names require clarification from mapping systems. Faces of people with similar names appear together in image searches, forcibly conflated into one extended family.
Congruity is especially powerful regarding individuals with the same birthday. Factors such as seasonal attributes and development relative to classmates are widely accepted to explain perceived similarities between individuals otherwise born years, even centuries, apart.
Two / Twenty Two by Cory Allen and Marcus Fischer occurred because the two musicians acted on their shared February 22 birthday. Both live in cities considered artistic outposts in otherwise rustic states (Allen: Austin, Texas; Fischer: Portland, Oregon), both have professional experience in visual design, and both explore gentle sonic psychedelics that bring texture to what might otherwise be termed ambient. All coincidence, certainly.
Allen and Fischer stacked the deck in congruity’s favor by providing each other with a set of samples from which to devise new music. The result is two rough fragile recordings. They have the burnish of delicate objects that survived significant tumult. As for the tremulous piano in track two, perhaps it’s a nod to Chopin, who was, according to various databases tracking such things, also born on February 22.
released 22 February 2012
. . .
all sounds were created or captured
by CORY ALLEN + MARCUS FISCHER.
in Austin, TX + Portland, OR.
Mastered by CORY ALLEN
Photo + Design by MARCUS FISCHER
By the way, one of the many things I love about Bandcamp is that it is supported by the superb Chrome extension, ex.fm, which is ideal for listening to streamed music. I tend to like to survey music via ex.fm and purchase and download the stuff I really love. If you want to follow me, my profile is:
Get the extension: http://ex.fm/
And I’d love to know what you’re listening is like, if you wish to send playlists. Perhaps we can talk more about that soon. We’ve just enabled the ex.fm plugin here on CDM, so that may make finding music here easier, too.