Post-classical ambient minimalism for crepuscular airports

Next “Singles Project” Release

As part of a continuing effort we’re calling The Singles Project, Suss Müsik is developing an extrapolation of musical motifs centered on the invention of the telescope. The release will consist of two short pieces built around the same sonic framework with different arrangements: one performed solely on piano and violin, the other using more ornamental instrumentation (keeping with the “fake orchestra” concept) and electronics. The basic structures are in place, now on to finalizing the composition and recording/mastering the output. The release will be titled Lippershey.

Misophonia

Misophonia album coverSuss Müsik is continuing to release “The Singles Project,” a series of thematic two-track recordings each based solely on a given concept or theme. All releases are issued and distributed under the self-formed Lůno banner.

The latest of the series is titled Misophonia, now available on Bandcamp and soon to be available on your favorite music streaming vehicles: Google Play, Amazon Music, YouTube, Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify etc. Suss Müsik further penetrates the world with our post-modern nonsense.

Misophonia consists of two tracks, each around eight to ten minutes in length, based on the compositional idea of cyclical phasing. The pieces consist of percussion (mostly vibraphone and marimba), slide guitar, little rocks dropped on strings, birds, and vocals. If you love the music of Steve Reich (comparable to his album The Four Sections), then it’s possible that you might like this. Full description below:

The door to the Suss Müsik studio leads to a wooden gate, behind which is a garden where birds of all types assemble. Occasionally we walk the path with a small box of birdseed and let the creatures fight it out. At one point, we counted as many as forty birds fluttering about the property.

In totally unrelated news, Suss Müsik has been reading about the pineal gland. This is the part of the vertebrate brain that splits the two haves of the thalamus joint and produces melatonin, the hormone that modulates circadian and seasonal sleep patterns. The pineal gland is also known as “the third eye,” a term of metaphysical significance to those who pursue a higher spiritual consciousness.

There is a theory that the pineal gland is the gateway through which we are able to communicate with non-human lifeforms. Suss Müsik wonders if the birds have a similar means of instinctual, non-verbal communication. Perhaps there are sounds we find repetitive or annoying (repetitive dripping water, chewing gum, the tapping of a pencil, etc.) that enable communication with extraterrestrial species beyond our audiophiliac astral plane. But that’s another topic for another time.

Misophonia I and Misophonia II were originally composed and submitted as part of the Disquiet Junto global collective of weekly music projects.

Hiko

Hiko album coverSuss Müsik is releasing a series of thematic two-track recordings based on a singular idea. We’re calling it “The Singles Project.” The first of the series is now available on Bandcamp. It’s called Hiko and the description is below.

The word “hiko” is one of several terms used by Eskimos to describe ice. According to the theory of linguistic relativity, a language’s structure is tightly bound to the culture in which it is spoken. Eskimo languages are polysynthetic, meaning that morphemes are invented organically through everyday usage: a suffix added here, a prefix deleted there.

Glaciers undergo a similar process of fissure and restoration. During winter, enormous sheets of polar ice laboriously drift towards the sea. These giants thaw in summer, breaking into chunks to be later reconstituted into the frozen bulk. Increasingly warmer global temperatures have created what scientists call “ice mélanges” where glacial ice becomes granular and slushy, slowing movement and inhibiting the regeneration process.

For these two works composed as a suite, Suss Müsik sought to represent varying textures of glacial ice using sound. The first movement of Hiko I explores the viscous, wintry state of glaciers traveling at the speed of molasses. The second movement of Hiko I represents the thawing and breaking of glacial ice during summer.

Hiko I is composed for cello, violin, Moog synthesizer, ice cubes, flute, organ and piano. The echoey ice-clink harmonics heard at the end of the piece are the result of the Moog effects processor filtering the sound of ice cubes being cracked.

For Hiko II, larger fragments are broken and diffused to depict the ice mélange as a state of purgatory. The smallest components are constantly in motion, yet there is no reconstructive outcome to conclude the piece.

Hiko II is composed for violin, viola, cello, vibraphone, vocals, mellotron, piano, tuba, trombone, Moog synthesizer and ice cubes. The sampled ice cubes were clipped and sequenced to resemble a percussion instrument played with mallets.

Music is a form of language, and the sound of ice hitting glass is inherently percussive. Both of these pieces use the live sound of ice cubes being dropped into a glass tumbler. (It’s surprisingly difficult to keep accurate time with melting ice — the cubes get slippery after a while).

Hiko I and Hiko II were originally composed and submitted as part of the Disquiet Junto global collective of weekly music projects.

Suss Müsik Releases

All Suss Müsik releases are available for purchase on Bandcamp and available for streaming on Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Play. Suss Müsik material is self-released and distributed under the net label Lůno.

Misophonia

Misophonia album cover

Misophonia is the second in a series called The Singles Project, each release consisting of two short works composed as a suite. For this offering, Suss Müsik sought to explore the spiritual significance of the pineal gland as a possible gateway through to communicate with non-human lifeforms. The two pieces are composed for marimba, slide guitar, processed vocals, fake orchestra (primarily violins and woodwinds) and birds outside Suss Müsik headquarters. Read more on the background behind this release.

Hiko

Hiko album cover

Hiko is Suss Müsik’s first release under the Lůno label and first in a series called The Singles Project, each release consisting of two short works composed as a suite. For this offering, Suss Müsik sought to represent varying textures of glacial ice using sound: the viscous, wintry state of glaciers traveling at the speed of molasses, the thawing and breaking of glacial ice during summer. etc. Hiko I is composed for cello, violin, Moog synthesizer, ice cubes, flute, organ and piano. Hiko II is composed for violin, viola, cello, vibraphone, vocals, mellotron, piano, tuba, trombone, Moog synthesizer and ice cubes. Read more on the background behind this release.

Zygotes

Zygotes album cover

Zygotes is Suss Müsik’s first “commercial” release in the sense that it is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, YouTube, and other distribution outlets. The album is six compositions for fake orchestras. You’ll hear strings, woodwinds, mallets, piano, percussion, brass and maybe even a flute or violin solo. Fans of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Mikel Rouse’s Broken Consort, Wim Mertens or Meredith Monk may enjoy this bit of symphonic minimalism.

Eclipsa

Eclipsa album cover

Eclipsa is a 50-minute piece that operates as both distraction and sedation. Instruments are buried under a thin veil of amplifier noise, creating a restful calm despite the unrelenting dissonance. The piece is titled after the word meaning “obfuscate” in the Catalan language of eastern Spain. Read more on the background behind this release.

Paraphasia

cover of Paraphasia

Paraphasia is named after a neurological speech disturbance, caused by brain damage, in which words are jumbled and sentences are rendered as meaningless. The pieces in this offering by Suss Müsik concentrate on fragments: the audio detritus created from malfunctioning systems, moments lost in idle activity, shards of regret manifested as tone. This is music for ticking off random days until something happens; meanwhile, life moves forward through the particle haze of decisions never made.

Quorum

cover of QuorumQuorum is a compilation spanning the best of Suss Müsik’s early output. “The intention is clear,” wrote Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet. “The ‘post-classical’ aspect is the presence of static violins and receding timpani. The ‘ambient minimalism’ is the overall sense of hovering waveforms in favor over active, self-evident melodic or thematic development. The ‘crepuscular’ is the way such a still piece can bring to mind moments in the day, such as that of twilight, when things seem to pause on a psychic, emotional, and sensory fulcrum point, with an underlying and intense momentum toward what might come next. And then, of course, the ‘airports’ is a nod to Brian Eno’s foundational work, where he likewise likened the travel portal to a unique mental juncture.”

Suss Müsik and Marc Manning

cover of Suss Müsik and Marc ManningSuss Müsik collaborated with Dragon’s Eye Recordings artist Marc Manning to produce this four-track offering. “A flowing amalgam of overlaid guitar patterning: strumming electric beneath louche waveforms amid spaced-out echoes,” wrote Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet. “It’s like the midpoint music from a Michael Mann film, a moment of reflective calm before all hell breaks loose. The track [Melting Square], which teams Suss Müsik with musician Marc Manning, itself gets calmer as it proceeds, the strumming eventually fading out entirely in favor of the voluminous echo, that echo then fracturing into a quietly intense, psychedelic field of ghostly twinkling.”