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Nylong Symphony #2 - Crystal

johnolivermusic with Scup on April 01, 2012 00:09

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    The Nylong Symphony Project started out as an ambitious “spectral/cultural voyage across centuries of sound (mainly plucked strings).” It began as a project about the evolution of the sound of the guitar and related family of instruments (oud, lute, vihuela) through history, an entirely imagined and highly subjective relistening to ancient through contemporary music. The original work, composed in 2004-5, consisted of six movements and lasted 50 minutes. I performed the music on multiple guitars, and processed their sound with two computers to extend their sound with spectral and spatial treatment. This journey began with an electric Oud, traversing the classical guitar before culminating with the fretless classical guitar. The sound of nylon-stringed guitars, and music from Spain through Persia to India formed the musical core of this journey. By the end of this journey I came to the realization that what held the most interest for me was the transcultural abstract sound that I was able to achieve when building large immersive sound masses, the kinds you hear in the other larger works on the present disc. And so “Crystal” was born.

    A common description of crystallization tells how “water being cooled undergoes a phase change from liquid to solid beginning with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming a polycrystalline structure. The physical properties of the ice depend on the size and arrangement of the individual crystals, or grains…” And so, my composition begins with the liquid sound of a solitary fretless guitar playing a single note, and grows, through a similar process as crystallization, to form huge undulating masses. It is about how perception of time and the self-reflective psyche undergoes warping when faced with complex gradual processes.

    Published on the earsay 2012 release "Time is Dust"

    Released by: earsay
    Release/catalogue number: es-12001
    Release date: Feb 20, 2012


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