The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Experimental Hypermultiplicity

Anecdotal: "Surging inchoate/incoherent sound." I play Ensoniq Mirage key-
board with positive organ sample as quickly as possible. The rhythm is
fast and furious; the melody is absurdly simple, repeated with
embellishments in C, E, C#, Bb major. Diminished chords, parallel fourths,
fifths, octaves, are employed. The augmented fifth is run up and down the
scale of major seconds. Speed is repeatedly doubled until it falls back,
exhausted. Length of recording: 19 minutes.

Commentary: While playing, each key is clarified; the melody comes through
clearly, as do the numerous errors associated with the speed. I hear the
individual notes; the echo is kept to a minimum. I correct errors as best
as possible by absorbing them in the diminished chords. I am exhilarated.

"Muscular aurality." I play at this speed by adapting potencies within the
muscles themselves; the playing takes on autonomic characteristics, broken
by the focus on errors. The diminished chords are correctives, bringing the
muscles back into focus.

"Internal time consciousness." Time slows, undeniably. I am aware of the
intervals and distances between runs, the melodic timing.

Result: Later, listening to the cd made from the performance. I can no
longer hear the melody, the transformations. Everything surges, ruptures.
The rapidity transforms into gloss, the note sequences into envelopes, the
diminished chords into furious and inchoate sonorities. I am now outside
of the production; from without, the originary turn or moment is lost,
invisible. I have withdrawn from the sound, the music; I hear it, entirely
enveloped in something else, something otherwise. The same has permanently

Result: Internal time consciousness is not only layered, mobile, flexed;
it is tied into tacit knowledge and attending-to. A production supersedes
its production; it is always that accursed share, that surplus, that both
expands and withdraws the auratic. This is the sound-music of the thinking
body, organ/organelle mind/minding. This is the sequence of the word in
its mythopoeic primordial moment.


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