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Lieven Martens (Lieven Martens Moana, formerly Dolphins Into The Future) is a composer and observer. Through various recording techniques he creates a conceptual form of programme music that travels beyond the pure description. His works are narrative stills and personal impressions; encounters with objects and thoughts; equally embracing and denying external theories; using the inconveniences of certain techniques and circumstances as the potential creative force; citing history without trying to be a keeper of the tombs of tradition. Amplified with text and pictures, the exotic viewpoint now and then takes a central position. In various ways this hybrid concept is a conductor for questions, critique, adjustment, or for mere amplification. Over the past few years he has been performing all over the globe. From Mexico City, to Tokyo, Niigata, Lisbon, Lecce, Honolulu, Brussels, et al. Between 2009 and 2012 he released several albums under the Dolphins Into The Future moniker on various record labels (Not Not Fun, USA; Fonal, Finland; NNA Tapes, USA; et al). His first LP under his birth name – titled “Music From The Guardhouse” - was produced by KRAAK (Belgium) in 2013. In 2015 he self-published a compilation of outtakes and sketches, produced on various formats (c.q. “Songs Of Gold, Incandescent”). In March 2017, “Idylls” came out on Pacific City Sound Visions (USA) in co-production with his own Edições CN. And in October 2017, the prolific EM Records from Japan released “Three Amazonian Essays”, a modern classical reinterpretation of the Spanish cult classic “Amazonia” by Finis Africae. These albums got critical acclaim on many music websites and in many print. New work is scheduled for 2019. Next to these activities, Martens runs a private press on which he releases records and editions; and he has been writing commissioned music for ensemble, submitted music for national radio, for film, and for art exhibitions. Furthermore he’s been presenting his work in the form of lectures at music and art schools. He recently has been collaborating with fellow artists like Francesco Cavaliere, Roman Hiele (as Hiele Martens), Floris Vanhoof, Spencer Clark and Mia Prce (aka Miaux). Martens also hosts a monthly radio show on the internationally acclaimed LYL Radio from Lyon & Paris, France. In 2016 he received a grant from the Flemish Department of Culture
Johannes Ockeghem (1410–1497), born in Saint Gislain - Hainaut, Belgium – and for a while living in Antwerp, wrote one of our nation’s greatest hits. Deo Gratias is a canon for 36 singers and apparently he wrote this particular song as kind of a joke or game; quickly “between the soup and the potatoes” as we would say in Dutch. Some say Ockeghem had in mind that a much larger number of people should perform this piece, but it was considered too complicated to find enough experienced singers, to make the piece correct measure-wise, et al.
Let’s open Logic X Pro and try and see if we could help Ockeghem to make this vision a (simulated…) reality.
Since this is a creation for deep and / or extended listening I selected a sligthly longer version of the song rendered by Paul Van Nevel and the Huelgas Ensemble, and layered and sequenced this 36 times in row. Every new sequence starts more or less according to Ockeghem’s original transcript. Small detail… in the version of the Huelgas Ensemble no more than 18 voices are singing contemporarily. As soon as the first voice of the fourth (bass) chorus reaches its final note every voice "freezes" at its current line in melody…
The layering of these sounds in the computer let the overtones shine and the human breathing and whistling create pretty rhytmic parents. The project shows that Ockeghems original idea is kinda genious since however you layer this music, the final result, be it a bit dense and somewhat conjested drone, is still very harmonic. Inspiring.
At first i started cutting, trimming and pitch correcting parts, making the piece a more correct rendition of the original four canon idea. But then i realized that the best manner to execute this version is to keep it simple and short, between the forementioned “soup and potatoes”. So here goes with all the gentle flaws…
At certain points you hear 11 times the same part overlaid. Thus 11 x 18 singers = 198 singers! Here’s to making Ockeghem’s grand vision come to (a simulated…) life.
supported by 12 fans who also own “Deo Gratias Triginta Sex”
Though it can be emotionally scary in places, in a dreamy, yet mind-expanding way, I'm finding Laurie Spiegel's Unseen Worlds calming and meditative. It is only my third album of electronic music, after The Expanding Universe, (which I've yet to get on vinyl) and one by Delia Derbyshire, whose music I also find very meditative.
I did have a collection of Gary Newman records back in the early eighties (or last Century, if you really want to make me feel old!) when a lot of us, briefly, felt electric. Those records were long ago sold on, probably for a couple of packets of fags, and I've little ventured into this genre since.
My very first introduction to electronic music, like many of my generation, was through the sounds of Delia Derbyshire. I remember asking my dad, after first watching Doctor Who in nineteen-sixty-something,
what was making the strange
noises of Ron Grainer's mindblowing theme tune? In a rare, "child centred" and accommodating moment, he told me..."Well. It's a kind of electronic box. One with wires and lots of dials and buttons." I remember, I thought about that for days. An electronic box! Making music! An incredible idea!
That was in the days you must remember before even the first pocket calculator was launched, never mind something so fantasical as the Internet!Kids got their fun back then through flesh and bone things like apple scromping, camping, footy in the street.Electronic Social Media was Sci-Fi.
When I thought of electronic music as a teenager, I thought of Mr Spock: "I feel a strange sensation, Jim! Indeed my efferent nerves are signaling my muscles to an odd kind of movement.I do believe my action potentials wish to actualize to the sound!"
These thoughts, and thoughts of first seeing Kubrick's "2001 A Space Odyssey," were what hit me, as I first let Laurie Spiegel weave her mechanical magic on me.Kubrick's "Space Odyssey" had mesmerised me at the time, especially the "event horizon" sequence, set to so memorably to György Ligeti's music, "Atmosphères." I didn't understand the film then, as I don't fully understand it now. But that is how SpaceTime is.Potentially limitless and probably, unlimately, unknowable (certainly for this mere spec of Astral Dust of the race which considers itself the beating heart of eternity).
Laurie Spiegel's music, like Kubrick's film, gives you a great sense of the vastness of Space, both outer and inner. But it also gives you space to think about Space.It gives you the room, and the stillness, to breath the air of the places she has set up for you to explore. Something many Hollwood movies and a lot of TV drama fails to do these days and should.It's an odd thing to say about a work so full of sound, I know, but good art, of any kind, is like that: chocka, yet endlessly roomy.
Sci-Fi-wise, the dumb, cowboys and indians pantomime that is Star Wars is still in the ascendancy. An anthropocentric Space, reduced, unsurprisingly, to God (The Force) and a gun fight.Even Doctor Who is almost completely obsessed with sexual politics in the Tardis and traversing the dimensions of the human identity navel of the here and now than it is about exploring alien cultures and those eternal SpaceTime mysteries of its original programmes.
Laurie Spiegel, on the other hand, stimulates a more expansive, ego-free, type of thinking.This is, as she called it herself "The music of conscious existence" which is not simply, I'd argue, about our own identity constructs, but also about the scientific matter of our Cosmic context.
My mind can be quite creative at times, but unfortunately, depression can sometimes lead it to paint the bleakest pictures. I find this music helps with that. Laurie Spiegel, for me, can be better than an hour with a therapist. (If a shrink ever tells you to tap yourself and repeat "I love myself! I love myself!" as a mantra - seek help elsewhere.If a doctor holds his hands aloft and declares he is a Christian and that the treatment you need "is to believe in God!" tell him he is a disgrace to Hippocrates and the entire medical profession and that he should be struck off.Finally, if anyone tells you to "Man up!" tell the imbecile to f**k off! - such folk suffer from a phenotypic plasticity abnormality: their heritage and upbringing having turned off their empathy genes as well as their brains).
Perhaps only an avant garde dance troop would be moved to shake their bodies to Laurie Spiegel, but for the rest of us, her music could make a splendid alternative to the chiming of Bonshō bells or the spiritual strings of the sitar during a good massage.This is pink noise, for those who like the sweet spot between order and chaos.The great jazz example of that being Miles Davis's Bitches Brew.The perfect piece for a broken pysche!Though, as Unseen Worlds is darker and more emotionally challenging than The Expanding Universe, the latter may be a better choice when seeking the transendent, for most.
When I need someone else's thoughts to ponder with my music, it would still have to be the songs of Townes Van Zandt that I put on. But when I next want to relax, in a contemplative way, and just to let my own thoughts wander outwards. I'll think about putting on Laurie Spiegel. You may think about something else entirely than the Space related thoughts I had here, or you may not be moved to think about much at all. But you should definately think about buying Unseen Worlds and The Expanding Universe. nicholas hamnett
supported by 12 fans who also own “Deo Gratias Triginta Sex”
Warm glitchy electronic drones that straddles a nice line between, Eno, Harold Budd and the electronic pastiche of Kranky records bands and Eleh who followed in Carl Stone's footsteps. Perfect for an overcast morning, coffee in hand, lazily moving towards the day. brantly