for stereo fixed media electronics // duration: 5'12"
Fleeting Conversations took shape as a series of intuitive responses to three recordings of a generative musical system. I developed the system as a wave-shaping and subtractive synthesis instrument with parametric control through multiple and hierarchical convergent functions. After generating several output streams, I selected three recordings that seemed different to each other while still individually reinforcing a sense of intrinsic directionality. I then treated each recording as a short movement, a foundation upon which (and against which) I could begin to make increasingly intuitive decisions. Most decisions concerned the emergence of continuity. I sought continuity not through a commitment to drone, but rather through deference to perceptual linkage when faced with interruption. So the bulk of my post-algorithmic compositional work focused on causing problems (on interrupting myself) by choosing how and when to interject divergent materials (including silence).
I hear the finished piece as an internal monologue of sorts-- a monologue about nothing, really, beyond the fetishization of a failure to speak. Such failure does not simply reaffirm that music is not-yet-language, but rather points toward the reflexivity inherent in talking to myself and being my first listener. As listener to myself, a perspectival change often places me in opposition to myself-- the self I recognize being spoken through the sounds I hear. I imagine undergoing an fMIR brain scan while listening to my own music, and already objecting to what I believe the results of the scan will be before the scan is complete. "Yes, I did that, but that's not me now!" So I hear this music as quite claustrophobic. But for other listeners, there's perhaps a sense of lightness to it; fleeting conversations about a subject always in the process of being rewritten, always up in the air.