If one reads the formal definitions of music and noise it would seem that the consensus is that musical sound is periodic and somewhat regular, while noise is not. Music is also said to generally be pleasing to the ear and mind…. and noise is not, or maybe noise is more properly, “unpleasant.” Obviously, such definitions are subjective. As it applies to the music I make in the Mindspawn projects, and I do consider the tracks that I create under the guise of Mindspawn to be music, the definitions that distinguish between music and noise are certainly blurry at best, and to some degree they are not terribly useful or accurate. Sometimes the Mindspawn sound will follow “traditional” musical formulae, and will contain elements such as song structure, melody, arrangements, and so on. On other occasions the sound I seek to convey might be made up of a field recording of a construction site, or random sounds generated from a modular synthesizer, or samples of space “sounds,” elements that are often categorized as noise. Quite often I employ elements from both “traditional” music and what is “traditionally” described as noise.

Something to keep in mind is that I’m not trying to redefine how the populace at large defines my sound or anyone else’s for that matter. Rather, I seek to point out that noise and music are by definition, subjective. How many times have teenagers been told by their parents to “turn down that noise,” “that noise” being the latest recording from an artist the teenager and many of their peers may view as having extraordinary artistry and incredible depth of emotion? To the parent the latest grindcore hit from the Slavering Hounds might sound like noise, but to the teen it is artistry and music at the purest level. By definition, both parties are correct, and this illustrates the subjectivity of how an individual perceives sound.

My personal definition of what is noise and what is music is most certainly slanted toward most, if not all, sound as being musical, it simply depends on the context from which you are listening. I would also posit that, contextually, even sounds that most people agree are music might also be considered noise, and here I would offer an example of really loud elevator music being relentlessly played at high volume for hours on end… that, at least to me, would most definitely be noise and not music. While not always successful, I spend much of my daily active listening finding the music in the everyday sounds around me… my varying level of success at “finding the music” usually has more to do with my mind’s perception than it does the actual sounds. Even I occasionally start hearing every sound, from Mozart sonata to the whine of a hard drive, as noise. At other times, it’s almost impossible for me not to hear the music of the cars passing on a bridge or from the mechanized sounds from a factory assembly line.

Your mileage may vary….

fullsizerender

What place is this…? Forlorn and bereft of color, a place where the changed now lurk in their hovels of dust.

Lovecraft country

A Lonely Place

Soundscapes. Beautiful pieces of ambient minimalism, guiding the listener to new places in the subconscious, creating the mental backdrop falling into place each passing second. You wander around in awe at the soundscape before you, trying to take it all in, and it leaves you breathless. Yet in your wonder you don’t notice the changes happening around you, trees rapidly shedding their leaves, plant-life quickly withering and dying, a slight wind picking up ruffling your hair, the sudden total silence except for the wailing of the wind.
Only when you notice that day is quickly turning to night do you break out of your hypnosis and scan the horizon and you feel the bile rise in your throat. Everything is dying…no decaying…. at a rapid speed, the wind has picked up considerably and you struggle to keep your footing while you try to dodge the debris being hurtled towards you by the savage wind. You notice the water level of the streams and rivers going down like somebody’s pulled a giant plug from out of the ground and the very ground you are standing on dries up and cracks so badly it looks like a weird sort of mosaic…and thats when you hear “It.“
At first “It” just hides among the ensuing madness like a tiger waiting for its prey, then it starts to become more pronounced and you look towards the direction of where the low dark droning sound is coming from and spy a most terrifying site, a complete wall of blackness spanning as far as the eyes can see. At first you think it might be mist or maybe the strange way this land turns to darkness (as its not quite night yet), but as it gets closer you notice it’s actually more liquid-like and that everything it touches is devoured and killed. Your mind is screaming for you to run, to get away but your body is just not obeying and you stand there stock still eyes wide open at the oncoming blackness.
You hear screaming and wailing sounds, like trapped souls of the many victims this thing has taken, and you shudder uncontrollably, but still you can’t move, and as the thick, oozing darkness first touches your hands then engulfs your arms, you still don’t move, you just stand there listening to the chanting sound which seems to be coming from the very heart of the thing, and even as you feel the burning of your skin and smell the singed hairs on your body, you still don’t move you don’t even scream, you just hear the chanting, soothing you, calming you and becoming more understandable the more “It” devours your rigid body. The chanting becomes louder and louder and more definable and just before it envelopes you completely the chant becomes fully understandable and the last thing you ever hear is……… Mindspawn.

Apollyon c.1998

Every time I start work on a new piece of sound, I remember the words of Apollyon….

Mindspawn crawled forth from the primal matter in untold ages past. Crossing from realms of dark energy into the illumined world, its coming was heralded by the arrival of the Machine God. The dawn of Industry and Technology set the stage for the Unbirth of Mindspawn. Many unholy pacts were forged, and now Mindspawn carries the parasitic spawn of the Great Devourer, Draconigena. The current abode of Mindspawn is a deep well along the Eastern Coast of North America, From this Infinite Abyss, the Many Tentacled One howls at the Cosmos, calling Frater Parisiticum to feed. From Darkness it hath come, and to Darkness you would be returned. In Darkness the Dragon Stireth.

Hive Nor

The places I find inspiration for Mindspawn tracks are many and varied. Some of those places are conjectured places created within the mind and the mind’s circle of friends and co-conspirators. Hive Nor is one such place in time from which inspiration is summoned and drawn…..

A brief historical perspective

Pre Hive Era

As improbable as it may seem, there was a time when there were no Hives, a time when one could traverse the outside safely, at least that is the claim. There is even a small minority of scholars that hypothesize of pre civilized epochs without the great machines, when it is said the raw outside air could be breathed without risk. While it is also claimed that vast amounts of data exist concerning these epochs, most of such data is largely lost to all but Harlot Seers, and even they are loathe to commune with knowledge of such ancient, eldritch times.

Hive Nor can be traced in data streams that date to over 190,000 solar cycles.
The current cycle is 310M, calculated from the rise of the House of Misrecorde. Misrecorde’s bloodline is rooted in Voidborn Militants. While it is doubtful that the Pale has ever set foot in the hive, she has ruled the vast sprawling metropolis for the entirety of the past 310 solar cycles. The day to day affairs of managing the government of Hive Nor is conducted by trusted agents of House Misrecorde. The majority of the House Mirecorde live and die in Enclaves that orbit the Earth.

Excited that the new collaboration with Coph Nia, Erotomechaniks II is now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and via mail-order direct from ant-zen. The new work is a continuing exploration of the themes first touched on in the first Erotomechaniks release. This is a more detailed examination of sounds inspired by the Hive City, Nor, a vast sprawl inside a bio-dome of mechanized madness.

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