‘A Sentence Swimming In Uncertainty’
A generous and “generative” heart beats at the conceptual center of composer John Supko and media artist Bill Seaman’ssweetly addictive new release, s_traits, on the Cotton Goods label. The work is among the most writerly studies yet in our series on contemporary composition for authors.
The work stands, almost imperceptibly, on a vast collection of textual phrases — a verbal intelligence deftly submerged in a shimmering gully of sonic handshakes, winks, caresses, nods, sighs.
And the music, which sounds as if it’s floating on a watery expanse, arrives as an exquisitely rendered sargassum, drifting — tantalizingly — just out of reach. Supko’s own comments on the piece, which is predicated on a percussion duo he wrote, Straits, say that it’s “the product of three minds: two human, one artificial.”
Constantly in languid motion, a line of text from s_traits could mean something, might not, then again may just very well be…no, it’s gone again, enveloped in a sophisticated, undulating current of layered sound and light.
This is recombinant text that Seaman created after the poem straits by Kenneth Koch. A part of it reads:
what I say it is, it is not • what I say I say in the silences • reviver • a bidirectional revolution • a code in the breaks • putting a spin on coded records • the late voice was welcomed in • the boat gently oscillated • a room of numbers in one • roussel never made it to africa • the ocular canal • lined with tiny waves • using misunderstanding • the woman’s pun was spun
Like someone’s bare shoulder grazing yours, Seaman’s opening phrase for each section of this music teases and come-hithers you as much as the found-sound music that follows. When Seaman says “and the ice appeared blue,” for example, to open the 9th section, there’s a fluctuating song of discovery waiting, a quiet chord on a piano folded deep behind a door-hinge string phrase over a deep bass-rolling continuum.
There’s more: Read the full story at Thought Catalog
By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
Writing on the Ether: Music for Writers: In Not-So-Dire ‘s_traits’
Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com