Post-classical ambient minimalism for crepuscular airports

Junto Project 0299: 10 BPM Waltz

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. This project was organized by One Take Records as part of the 10 BPM Dance Club in Copenhagen, September 2017.

Deconstructivist architecture is designed to give the impression of fragmentation within a wholly composed building. The style is characterized by non-linear shapes that appear to distort predictable forms into controlled chaos.

Deconstructivism is a form of post-modern philosophy derived from the teachings of Jacques Derrida, who believed that absolutes were confining and that multiple meanings cannot be reconciled within a singular work. Think of it as a way of discovering hidden meanings within a structure intended to subvert them.

Suss Müsik finds the 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures to be ripe for deconstructivist composition. It’s in the downbeat where the possibilities reside, opening an endless stream of sonic possibilities. Working at a languid 10 BPM expands the field, almost to the point where there is no presence or absence and thus no downbeat to be heard. Boom-tick-tick becomes a series of ticks and booms that emerge randomly.

For this piece, Suss Müsik sought to deconstruct the downbeat using e-bows, vibes, squiggly synths, amplified wooden blocks, sheets of metal and homemade percussion. For each instrumental voice we created a “surface skin” with two variations: one at half-speed, the other one-and-a-half times faster. This ultimately created a muted din in which no slot in the 3/4 tempo was left vacant, yet everything holds to the original BPM.

We did not intend for the piece to run quite as long as it did, although we admit that working within a 10 BPM frame tends to encourage expansion. The last two minutes retained an almost Talk Talk “Spirit of Eden” sort of vibe. We liked it so we let it linger a bit.

The piece is titled Derrida. The image is an abstraction taken from the side of a deconstructivist building in New Orleans.

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