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Released via Polytechnic Youth Records. Explorations in chaos and its occasional beauty.
Chaos Blooms is an exploration of chaotic and random elements within composition, performed on modular synthesizer. As with random occurrences in nature, sometimes something beautiful emerges. Sometimes not. Chaos can be frightening as well as beautiful. When you think about the movement of water or flame, they can go both ways. Fire can burn a city to the ground, but also provide warmth. It's also very pretty to look at, there's never the same pattern twice. It's the same with water. I wanted to make an album that explored that, using randomly generated voltages to control various aspects of the composition, including pitch and timbre.
The problem random composition presents is, if there's too much of it then it basically becomes just noise. There needs to be some degree of structure to it, some element needs to be repeated. At least to make it musically appealing in some way. So the trick here was to find different ways to tame that chaos, and to sculpt it into something which still resembled a Polypores record.
It was initially inspired by listening to lots of free jazz - Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Miles Davis. I was really enjoying the apparent chaos of the music, how it flowed freely like something from the natural world. The same could be said about a lot of ambient music, but that only tends to mimic the more pleasant and calming aspects of nature. Whereas in reality nature can also be unpleasant, discordant, even frightening. So I guess this album reflects that.
Music helps the brain develop from an early age because it teaches us about anticipation and gratification. When we are very young the music which appeals to us is very repetitive and predictable, because that's how we've evolved. Hearing simple nursery rhymes with very predictable melodies and rhythms teaches our brains about anticipation/gratification, so we have evolved to find it appealing. But as we get older, we seek more complexity in music, as that does something different to our brains. So I guess that whole idea of chaotic elements within music was interesting, with that in mind. I'm not saying this record will take us to the next stage of human evolution (!!!), but it's certainly quite mentally stimulating in a way that I've never really explored before.
Thanks and love - SJB
released January 15, 2021
Written and performed by Stephen James Buckley on modular synthesizer - September 2020.
Artwork by Stu Richards
Thanks to Dom Martin at Polytechnic Youth for his faith and support.
Dedicated to Violet.