I’d hoped to write up a post for this album on its actual release date of 6/7, but as fate would have it, Sporkii and I were vacationing in Scotland and contracted COVID a couple of days before our scheduled return flight. At the time, the CDC requirement to return to the US was either a negative test, or positive test with 10 days quarantine and doctor’s note of recovery. Fortunately we’ve both had our vaccines and boosters, so the illness itself wasn’t the worst of our problems. Anyway, I won’t go into any further detail regarding the challenges of contracting COVID abroad, but suffice to say I had to postpone blog entries and self promotion due to more pressing matters.
Anyway, now that I’m home and my ducks are all back in their respective rows, I’m happy to belatedly announce the release of Internal Reflection, the result of another couple of years of exploration, experimentation, self-expression, excessive self-criticism and efforts to overcome it. As I’ve written previously, one of my broadest metrics for self-evaluation has been my own enjoyment, i.e., I try to make stuff that I would be happy to listen to if I’d stumbled across it myself. I’ve often equated this with honesty or sincerity, but as I think about it it’s really an attempt at being honest with myself. As such, I think the end results reflect a wide gamut of mental states, and correspondingly there are sometimes large gaps in tone and energy between tracks.
Along those lines, while creating and evaluating the album I found the end result of a song might seem boring and homogenous on one day but perfectly relaxing or contemplative as intended on another. In my preview post last month I mentioned my forays into meditation, for example. I don’t feel like an equanimous, truly neutral and universally accepting state of mind could be accurately (or honestly) expressed by 180 bpm fractal breakbeat chops or sweeping emotive chord sequences. Indeed I found more success expressing this state of consciousness utilizing generative sequencing techniques – letting the computer decide the melody (to some constrained degree) while I worked my sound design and improvisation around that basis.
On the other hand, high-energy standouts like “Crystallovore” and “Disinformation Filter” arose, perhaps obviously, out of frustration and exhaustion with the sociopolitical climate, the seemingly inescapable tribalist animosity and shameless manipulation across social media as we approached the end of the previous election cycle. And while the circumstances of my life aren’t presenting me with as many frustrations in recent days, I still wanted to include these expressions as a record of the time, so that the album in its entirety forms something of an abstract journaling of my emotional and mental states over the last couple years.
I thought about going through each individual track and explaining my thoughts and inspirations behind each, but ultimately decided against it. Looking back on my history of listening to other artists’ work, I’ve generally preferred coming to my own opinions and interpretations of songs over having the meaning spelled out for me.
Anyway, now that this is out in the world, I’ve been considering what to work on next. Maybe physical plotter art, or more abstract 3D stuff with Tyflow, or perhaps taking an intentionally constrained workflow with music – limiting myself to one or two hardware synths at a time. These all sound promising to me, but to be honest I’ve been spending the bulk of my free time playing Dyson Sphere Program. Just can’t seem to get enough automation gaming lately.