Post-classical ambient minimalism for crepuscular airports

Decatenation, The Ongoing Saga

Suss Müsik is no longer perplexed as to why the upcoming release Decatenation is taking so long. What resulted was a simple acknowledgement that the quality and running order of the pieces simply weren’t up to scratch. Also, our participation in the weekly Disquiet Junto projects made for a very pleasant and fertile distraction these past few months.

In any event, a combination of new and newly-written material will lead to the distribution of this release. Two tracks from the original running order have been cut, while six others are undergoing transformation. Half the material are reworks of Junto contributions. In fact, one track is a rework of a rework of an edit of a rework. Now you know.

The one track that has persisted in its originally submitted form is Mudlairing, which is available for preview on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Weird Combinations

Lately, Suss Müsik has been exploring a number of odd combinations in our compositions. The latest transgression in our musical roadmap can only be described as “what would happen if Brian Eno collaborated with Black Sabbath while recording My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.” That should give you some idea of what this monstrosity sounds like. Another way to describe the piece is that it’s rough, sloppy, loud and mechanical. We really like it, of course.

The new piece obviously needs to go through a gestation period; however, this might be what Decatenation needs before its delayed release sees the light of day.

Decatenation Update

Suss Müsik has held up the release of Decatenation for the purpose of quality control. The album’s contents fit cleanly into three categories:

  1. Pieces that sound great but compositionally aren’t as strong as we would prefer.
  2. Pieces that stand alone compositionally but, for one reason or another, don’t sound great when taken as a totality.
  3. Pieces that sound good and are compositionally strong but have grown tiresome to our ears. You know what that’s like.

Given the above, there is a better than average chance that Suss Müsik will develop some new material before Decatenation sees its release. This will be our first commercially distributed launch beyond the confines of Bandcamp, so we want to make it a good one.

To the eight or so Suss Müsik fans eagerly awaiting this release, so just bear with us a bit. Thanks for your interest.

Short Work

The next Suss Müsik release was originally intended to be two extended pieces, each about 25 minutes in length exploring all the possibilities of a single idea. Our recent experience with the weekly Disquiet Junto (not to mention the positive feedback received) has us thinking in terms of smaller formats; how much conceptual value can be optimized within a 4-minute timestamp? So we are thinking of a Bandcamp album of maybe 8-10 pieces at around 4 minutes each. The working title “Decatenation” could be the first Suss Müsik release of 2017.

Throumoulizo

The latest Suss Müsik piece is based on the rhythms, voices and melodies of Pontic Greek folk music. Pontic Greeks (or Pontians) traditionally lived on the shores of the Black Sea, later migrating to the Russian province of Georgia during the 15th century as the Ottoman Empire grew in power. Today, the Pontians’ cultural influence can be felt in parts of modern-day Greece and northeastern Turkey.

Pontic music is, in part, a reflection of the regional topography in which people lived. The mountains and rivers impeded communication between communities, reflecting a sense of isolation commonly experienced by fringe cultures. The haunting melodies, combined with a strong rhythmic structure, results in a fascinating musical dichotomy that is both celebration and lament.

The title is a Pontic word meaning “to break things apart.”

Two New Pieces

Two new pieces are starting to emerge from recent sessions. One is a sort of hypnotic, Steve Reich-style piece with marimba and authentic bird sounds. The birds were recorded just outside the Suss Müsik studio walls. It’s too early to say whether the piece will be more like Tourbillion or perhaps something else altogether.

The other new piece is a loud, messy cacophony of electric noise, somewhat building upon the themes explored on Kommunal. This piece will feature Native American ceramic flute played by John Kulias of Meadowlark Flutes. We at Suss Müsik immediately fell in love with the spatial tones of Kulias’ playing, especially when the instrument’s rich spirituality is set in a modern industrial setting. The process by which Kulias creates his flutes is a wonderful study in artisan workmanship.

Both pieces are currently in the neighborhood of 20+ minutes and take a long while to get where they’re going. They need more work and will likely comprise the next Suss Müsik release by the end of 2016.

UNSEEN series | Apertures

On June 10 in San Francisco’s Mission district, Gray Area’s UNSEEN Series will presents site-specific, collaborative performances by Bay Area artists. The show will explore current practices in immersive media, including expanded cinema, video and sound art, experimental music and technology.

The UNSEEN series is curated by Oakland artist Matt Fisher and features contributions from Suss Müsik friend and collaborator Marc Manning. Other performers/artists include Maggi Payne, Marielle Jakobson and Chuck Johnson.

Tickets are $8 presale, $13 day of show and $15 at the door. A cash bar is available to those 21 years and older.