Disquiet Junto 0258: Sonic Climate [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.

It’s winter at Suss Müsik headquarters; today is the first truly cold day of the season. The first evidence of winter is usually the hollow sound of the wind blowing through our chimney and rattling through the studio ductwork. The greenery outside has begun its period of dormancy, the colorful vibrancy of fall replaced with a neutral thicket of browns and greys. We may get snow tonight.

WInter coincides with the holiday season. Bells can be heard ringing through the streets and there’s a sentimental magic to the air. After the holidays, an abyss takes over where sunlight is scarce. Those who embrace the festivities of December will isolate themselves come January, especially when winter storms are fierce and roads are impassable.

An aside: Suss Müsik recalls spending time in the farthest reaches of the north, where the construction and logging industries come to a halt between November and April. Unemployment in those parts is rampant during the cruel winter months. People exist in quiet desperation, waiting in solitude for the spring thaw with only cabin fever and a bottle of Thunderbird for company.

For this short piece, Suss Müsik attempts to channel three elements of the winter season: the first breaths of an early snowfall, the Yuletide celebration, and that moment of terror when the walls close in. A simple piano motif builds upon a bed of mallet percussion and ceramic flute, followed by an insistent beat topped with fuzzy bass and snarky guitar feedback.

We didn’t intend to make such a dark piece, but the muse goes where it goes. The piece is titled Weltschmerz, a German word that describes the melancholy feeling of being disconnected from the physical world.

Featured are the beautifully spatial tones of ceramic artist John Kulias playing a homemade Native American flute. Check out his work at Meadowlark Flutes and his wonderful YouTube channel.

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