Post-classical ambient minimalism for crepuscular airports

Junto Project 0278: MacConnel’s Jingle [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

Kim MacConnel is considered to be part of an art movement known informally as Pattern and Decoration. A retrospective ArtNet piece describes how “P&D artists took both high and low images from global cultures … African and Indian fabrics, fur, feathers, sequins, Orientalist arabesques and floral patterns … and made a special point of incorporating into their work traditionally feminine materials and techniques.”

MacConnel’s work is like a visual quilt of cultural references, overlaid with kitsch imagery and bold chromatic selections. During the 1970’s, MacConnell’s work wasn’t taken seriously as art or even a style of painting. Although he would have likely resisted such comparisons, MacConnel does share some affinity with the Minimalist movement of the time. If there is such a genre as Post-Decorative Minimalism, this particular image is a prime example of it.

For this weird piece, Suss Müsic sought to invent post-decorative minimalist music. We transcribed the five panels of MacConnel’s painting into five “movements” of roughly equal length, inspired by the visual motifs presented in each section.

  • Movement 1 = electronic tones and static rendered as angular sine waves, with three synth phrases overlapped to create two composite chords.
  • Movement 2 = an attempt to compose a “classical” post-modern string piece, while envisioning Venus de Milo on the African Veldt.
  • Movement 3 = the result of pushing a cheesy CR-78 drum pattern through a delayed fuzzbox, with Native American ceramic flute and synth pattern overlaid on top.
  • Movement 4 = two polyrhythms for piano, wood blocks and organ played with binaural processing to match the pattern of a telephone cord.
  • Movement 5 = a softly muted faux-African rhythm on marimba, accompanied by ghostly vocals and a brief blast of organ.

The piece is titled Appliqué in honor of MacConnel’s first solo exhibition, Collection Applied Design.

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