Why Noise?

When faced with the walls of static/skeletal percussion/electronic blips and bleeps the average person has to ask, exactly why in the world would anyone make noise? Why would anyone listen to this stuff? I’ve fielded these questions on more than one occasion, and I never quite know what to say. I usually simply shrug my shoulders and just tell them “I dig it”. Yet, the answer may be more complex.

Why do anything? Why make music? Why write poems? Why paint a picture? All art comes back to self-expression; it’s a matter of what medium best suits you to express yourself. As an artist whose primary function is that of writer I can express most of my innermost feelings with words, and when words reach an impasse and can‘t adequately say what I am trying to say cut-up technique can take me even further.

However, there are things that are so unspeakable or literally beyond words and that is where sound comes in. Sound for me expresses those indescribable, abstract things that even I can’t put my finger on, or even know that I’m feeling. Noise expresses those primal emotions buried deep and beyond words. I can’t go those places within the narrow parameters of traditional music. How can I discover new places that are not on any psychic map if I’m following a very strict road map that dictates tonality, rhythm, and musical alphabets?

I am just not as interested in creating music as I am in creating sounds. I am interested in creating atmospheres, moods, and soundscapes. I am interested in how sounds interact with other sounds and I am interested in how they affect human consciousness. Much like with words, or interestingly enough most any medium I pursue, I am fascinated with deconstruction rather than construction. Above all, I am concerned with self-expression and navigating inner space rather than outer space. I am simply not interested in formula, song structures, tonality, rhythm, etc.

I am not “anti-music”, in fact, I find comparing music to noise very much like comparing apples to oranges, similar but vastly different. I’ve always enjoyed listening to traditional music but it did nothing for me as an artist. I suppose I could look back honestly and say it possible I did not have the discipline to become a talented traditional musician, but I could also wager it did not hold my attention enough to demand discipline from me. I listen to music a great deal, and sometimes I will sit around my house with my trusty bass guitar and play for the sheer joy of it. However, when I feel the need to express myself music does not come to mind as an option.

Let’s put all that introspection aside. As much as those are possible reasons many of us make noise, I’d wager it has little to do with what started many of us on this noise path. I stumbled onto noise as my path of musical discovery started getting more and more weird and extreme. I can’t put it any more plain than to simply say I thought it sounded cool. Soon after I discovered it was fun to do as well. I guess it really does come down to the simple fact that “I dig it”. The catharsis I feel after playing a set of noise is incredible, the places I go when listening to noise music is limitless. That is all I ask for in art: no limits.

4 Poems and The Return Of Blk/Mas

I’m pleased to announce that I have four poems up in one of the best blog/zines around for challenging literature, Otoliths. It is another issue packed with exceptional writing, if you’ve never checked out Otoliths you are missing out.

The electronic/noise/experimental project of Shawn Blackburn and myself, Blk/Mas has finally returned with a new album download. X + Quantity Of Me may be our best effort yet, and I hope you’ll check it out, along with all the other stuff we have to offer over at The Awareness Factory.

 

Angels, Death Dealers, And The Consciousness Of The Unreal

My newest album of experimental noise Angels, Death Dealers, And The Consciousness Of The Unreal is out for immediate download over at Awareness Factory Recordings. It is a very short meditation on exploring inner spaces, with nods to William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Mellower than some of my other offerings, perfect for meditation and dreamachine.

A little more Classwar…..

Classwar Karaoke 0027 is online now and ready for your consumption. My track He Who Has Found His Place (Amid Nothing) is included alongside many talented experimental artists. My track is possibly a little more quiet and moodier than expected, but it represents an exciting and different direction. As always, I’m proud to be included in this excellent series.

Cut Up The Dotted Line….

Out now from Oneiros Books CUT UP! An Anthology Inspired by the Cut-Up Method of William S. Burroughs & Brion Gysin. It is edited by Joe Ambrose and AD Hitchin and features a large cast of talented authors including Kenji Siratori, Claude Pélieu, Nina Antonia, Billy Chainsaw, Cabell McLean, Mary Beach, Marc Olmsted, Allen Ginsberg, Spencer Kansa, Michael Butterworth, Robert Rosen, Nathan Penlington, Sinclair Beiles, Gary J. Shipley, D M Mitchell, and Edward S. Robinson. I’m very honored and excited to be a part of this project. Both Burroughs and Gysin have been a tremendous influence on me as not just a writer, but as a sound artist as well.

Next up we have a project I can’t believe I forgot to blog earlier. It is a new cd from Electro Faustus, titled Just Sign On The Dotted Line. Electro Faustus is known for making some seriously awesome noise effect modules asked artists to contribute tracks using their devices. I have one track on this collection that also features Merzbow alongside some other cool projects that you need to hear.

New Tracks From Blk/Mas

The landmark Classwar Karaoke is out now featuring a slew of impressive experimental artists. I am proud to once again be a part of their diverse surveys, this time as a member Blk/Mas.

Speaking of Blk/Mas, we have recently taken some previously unreleased tracks from 2013 and put them together as an album over at The Awareness Factory. It’s titled ….(just) Existing and you can download it here.