Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The 45SIS, No.6, 2017: Chris Corsano

Robert Rauschenberg - Ice Egg Metropole (1982)

Dear Readers,

[#a general remark#] I am very proud to present the sixth installment of The 45SIS (45 sentences, infinite sounds) featuring this time the american free form drummer, percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Chris Corsano. Chris Corsano plays the most refined and inventive free form music imaginable today. To get an impression I highly recommend to look into yesterday's Sounds of the Day completely dedicated to the works of Chris Corsano and friends. A more detailed portrait you find in the portrait section below. The 45 SIS is a questionnaire consisting of 45 sentences to be completed. This feature tries to close or at least bridge the gap between contemporary philosophical theories and contemporary sound-production by asking their most important contributors. The public reception and perception of sounds/music seems to be stuck in a weird consumer-convenience and commodity-oriented approach since ages. But music and sounds are and should be more than this: an excess of the minimal and the maximal: the invisible and the secret, maybe. Over the months and years a serious encyclopedia of debatable positions in the aforementioned field will be build up by giving leading artists and theorists a space to present themselves without further commentary by the editor. 

[#the portrait#] I discovered Chris Corsano several years ago mainly through his solo works, and his collaborations or inter-actions with Paul Flaherty, Nate Wooley and Bill Orcutt. Chris Corsano's impressive works open immense new spaces to rethink the idea of micro- or polyrhythmic space time grids or subversive, hybrid stackings for unheard of energetic fields and fiery articulations in the spectrum from tender embers (say Morton Feldman's "King of Denmark" (1964) levels) to ultra-expressive and ultra-explosive backdrafts (traceable back in time maybe to japanese power trios and other drumstick bending oddities of all ages and cultures pushing the fast forward button to reach out to the immensive spectrum of Corsano’s aural embodiments  (eg. his Star Spangled Voltage Worlds climbing Seven Storey Moutains with the Admittance of Six Organs finding An Idea in Everything letting out All the Ghosts and Spinning Jenny at once playing Chikamorachi with Psychic Armors under False Flags aiming at The Heretic's Bargainbeyond High Art Snobisms and their neatly orchestrated body/mind splits excluding trance-personal energy flows from their well known aseptic Tuxedo Mafia Worlds without even trying. Chris Corsano’s music is EBM - (this time) - spelled out as a superimposition of Energetic Body Music and Event Body Music. His body gives signals, yes, but they are not necessarily linked or limited to clean ear-cpu-cognitions or -operations because they are barely anticipatable event-sounds: free form embodiments or free(d) body formations of the highest order. “Corsano” plays radically different channels and plays them radically different, elegantly and often swift like a chameleon. Robert Rauschenberg's artwork Ice Egg Metropole (1982) used above could well be considered as emblematic here. As a depiction of a trancendening, tranceformative, corsanic drumkit in action or in statu nascendi having always two crystal balls in animal claws, several drum kits and once stacked in multiverses, and a third Eye/I open for the “activité stéréographique d’une autre oreille” (Derrida) or in the words of Antonin Artaud’s “Tarahumaras”: “Temps creux, / une espèce de vide épuisant entre les lamelles du bois / coupant, / néant qui appelle le tronc de l’homme, / le corps pris en tronçon de l’homme”.

[#discography/links/contacts#] I highly recommend to visit Chris Corsano's homepage (click here), the impressive discography (click here). And look for some live action in your neighborhood (click here) And visit of course yesterdays collection of  Corsano's impressive group of works in my Sounds of the Day Section.

[#the presentation#] The white font shows the grid of my 45SIS-questionnaire, that will remain unchanged for each featured artist. This makes each contribution at once singular and comparable. The answers by each featured artist or scholar in this case Chris Corsano always be presented in green font.[SKG]

This is The 45SIS, No.6
brilliantly completed
by Chris Corsano

[1] “Music” and “Musician” are concepts which people get hung up on nearly as much as “art” and “artist.”

[2] The term “Sound-Art” depending on the context, could be a totally valid way to describe something or it could be a fancy-pants way of dressing up some kind of personal-cultural artistic/music practice in order to sneak it into high-falutin places where things are called “hors d'oeuvres” instead of “snacks” when it's all really just pigs in a blanket.

[3] A Sound Artist becomes better paid than a Noise Musician.

[4] Inventing/finding sounds is , an alternative tool for, but not a guarantee of, breaking worthwhile new ground.

[5] Hearing back live recordings sometimes forced me to admit the shortcomings of some new-found sounds.

[6] The obvious tensions between classical systems of musical notation and composition, sound-sourced field-recordings, free-improvised-real-time-composition, and technology based sound processing don't need to be “obvious” or “tensions.” Is there “tension” between, say, frying and broiling and baking? Just different ways of cooking is all it is.

[7] Composition is about, among other things, structure and it can be done beforehand or on the fly;  writing  sounds to me more like something that happens at a time before any performance of said writing. But I could be wrong.

[8] The main theoretical aporia, existential tension or trigger that keeps me producing and/or made me produce (and/or: writing about) sounds is a red herring. I play because I love and need to, plain and simple. And I got that way by being moved by musicians before me who seemed to be coming from the same place.

[9] The immense scope and variety of musical inventions forced into canonized music history and its basic distinction of music and non-music in the XX.Century (say) since “Arnold Schoenberg” and the counter-explosions of new underground music paradigms, non-europeans traditions and playing techniques since the 1940’s --Well, I'm not sure I understand this question, so I'm not going to finish it, but you can leave this part in as my response all the same.

[10] Time, Space and Volume all come in handy now and then.

[11] A musical instrument is, like a lot of technology, sometimes mistakenly valued more for what it symbolizes than what it produces.

[12] The musical encounter of my dreams would be collective, ecstatic, empathetic, and maybe a touch psychotic.

[13] The point zero reoccurs constantly.

[14] Sounds don't usually come to me as invisible sculptures  , except for Paul Flaherty's sustained low notes. The strength and beauty of them makes me think of a cylindrical, horizontal column of air (but really better than “just” air) moving into/through the audience

[15] Sounds(capes) should do what you want them to or make you do what they want you to.

[16] Sounds and destruction are two great teenage pasttimes.

[17] The human voice will disappear before or after the human ear?

[18] Listening is the key feature of a musician's playing that most writers don't seem to “get.” But then some musicians don't get it either.

[19] The commodity factor of the way you've chosen to spend your life can fuck you up if you think too much about it.

[20] Programs and algorithms are sometimes accurate analogies human personalities and interactions.

[21] Names, words and titles of compositions are often misleading, sometimes intentionally so. Be forewarned!

[22]Duplication, sampling, sound-sourcing and mani-pulation reaches a high point with DJ Premier.

[23] Replay-Machines, architecture …..…… the listening …….

[24] Knowledge of musical theory or history can be a real drag when it creates a prescribed narrative in the listener's mind that interferes with being per/re-ceptive to what's actually going on in the music.

[25] The materiality of sounds is something I enjoy messing around with, but there's the temptation to over-prioritize the material at the expense of the sound, and I'm trying to be less guilty of that as I go.

[26] To connect sound and psychology would have to be a very individualized affair.

[27] The eye, the ear and the brain all share the work that people credit to just the ear.

[28] Sonic processes …………………… mimesis…….

[29] Life and Death …………………………….silence ….

[30] My deepest listening comes when trying to hear the aspects of a sound that are just on the threshold of being audible.

[31] The distinction sound/music/noise generates far too much blowhard armchair philosophy. Speaking words of wisdom, just let it fucking be, already!

[32] The constant jamming of the Western classical tradition down our throats with its notion of the all-powerful composer has lead to a constant underestimation of improvised music.

[33] Live performances are the things that matter the most to me, where everything (ideas, intentions, musicians, audience, transcendence, expectation, failure, etc.) interfaces with everything else in infinitely varied ways.

[34] Sounds …….. travel from hand to hand, ear to ear, through space and time …...

[35] I heard that if you play 4’33”  you should make sure to open a window or two; otherwise you're just gonna get stomach grumbles, squeaky chairs, and the occasional cough.

[36] Privacy, Secrecy & Sounds ……...

[37] Singularity, originality get quickly duplicated into musical genres until the next hopeful weirdo comes along to re-start the process.

[38] The total liberation of sounds begs the question, liberation from what? We don't need to liberate the sounds. It's the other way around.

[39] Free form music or sound …….. into …..

[40] Cryptic minimalisms …….. techno …..

[41] Outsider sounds are great. Just let's stop treating the outsiders who invent them like animals at the zoo.

[42] In the hands of the Arkestra, electronics, electro-acoustic, Modular Synths become interstellar pathways. I saw Marshall Allen play the same model of cheap keyboard synth that I have. So cheap that it can only sound two notes at the same time despite being manufactured in the last 10 years. Yet Marshall Allen can make it sound like the whole of the universe is contained in that piece of plastic, while all I can get out of it is decidedly more broke-down and busted. Sometimes it's not the spaceship, but the space-traveler.

[43] Sounds provided some of the best time-space manipulations of my life.

[44] The severest misconceptions about me and my sounds, my music, and my theories would be interesting to hear. I don't know what they are.

[45] The sentence(s) I wanted to see published for an eternity is/are ones I'll have to get back to you with.

Cordial thanks,
Chris Corsano !

Robert Rauschenberg - Ice Egg Metropole (1982)