Since there has been life on earth, air always necessarily surrounded us, but in spite of all the only moments we are aware of its presence is when the wind blows violently or when there is none in our lungs and our body drastically feels the effects.
Only in a relatively early past men started studying the air scientifically, obtaining precise and demonstrable results: we discovered that there is a film of air protecting our planet, called the atmosphere, and that it could be catalogued into 6 strata based on temperature and density of the gases.
Starting from the ground they are
Being the last three a more rare mixture with more dominant light gasses.
The tracks of this concept album are ordered like these atmosphere strata and suggest a progressive ascension.
An always less intricate tangle of sounds highlights the progression of gases mixture within the distance from the surface, following these criteria atmosphere strata are divided into two bigger groups:
1. Omosphere includes the strata with a higher density of gases and phenomena, constantly blending; the first three tracks in fact have many different cuts tied together and an unusual dissonant harmony as a result of the clash of many elements playing at the same time. Rhythm is predominant, as a symbol of proximity to the earth, reminding of tribal roots.
2. Heterosphere includes the more diffuse strata, with a lower density of gases and reactions. The last three tracks are then more airy and floating, with a bigger use of audio effect suggesting dilatation and a more defined sense of harmony as an elevation towards the space.
The atmosphere exists regardless of our awareness of it, and so does music.
Composing music is picking up certain elements from a whole sphere of sensations, like sculpturing is carrying a figure to light from a block of marble, as Michelangelo thought.
Art is a representation of the essence of the human nature, and being just a representation can only describe it partially, leaving a gap to be filled by the users’ interpretation.
I associated the tracks of “Tidy Chaos” to the atmospheric layers to illustrate:
1) The compositional process.
This has been layered in a similar way: every track has been built up at the same time of the others, adding an instrument per session.
2) The parallelism between Science and Music and their aims, beyond the techniques.
The organization of improvisations into different tracks shares interesting similarities with the division of the air enveloping the planet into strata.
They are both composed by reactions between distinct elements.
They both catalogue already existing phenomena into understandable data through a specific method. One tries to describe reality by its physical characteristics and the other aims to represent interpretations of the metaphysical aspects.
Science doesn’t invent nature; it reveals it in all its details and organizes it in a logical way, understandable by human reason.
Scientists try to understand connections between elements, explain procedures and link hypotheses, investigating the physical world and contributing to the eternal research of truth by the human genre.
On the same level, composition doesn’t create music; it develops an idea, caught by our brain, until it’s ready to be shared with other people, shaped on common criteria depending on culture, musical style and the purpose of the piece.
Composers deal with an ideal musical line, looking for the realization of their starting inspiration, which is usually aroused from a specific personal state of mind that will be isolated and evolved into an objective representation.
This work of sculpturing an immaterial high-relief recounting non-physical reality, called composition, is a science too.
There are rules to be followed in order to make the oeuvre appreciable by outsiders (outside the composer’s head) and just like science needs an empirical demonstration of the discovery, music needs an adequate structure to be recognized as valid.
This project “TIDY CHAOS” is called so because it tries to transform unorganized musical ideas into coherent compositions.
It collects completely independent musical lines and plays them together, re-organized along with a complex stratification of rhythm and sounds.
I picked different tempos and on each I played the drums improvising, then I chopped the recordings and I built a structure for every track.
The second step was recording individually guitars and bass improvising on a given key, without listening other instruments apart from the drums.
In this way every musician could be free to play with his own independent approach, not influencing (or being influenced by) the others, so that each recording maintained originality and spontaneity and not tried to tie with the other elements.
Once everything had been recorded I cut and selected this “original samples” following the structure of the drums. Then, using the same technique, I recorded the synthesizer parts and some scratches.
To complete the pieces I added some extra drums loops with my drum machine and effects with a Kaos-Pad.
Musicians improvising are simply following the flow of the moment without consciously thinking, they represent/play the music that describes the sensations floating in the room at that very minute, under the point of view of that precise musician. There is no premeditation and therefore no critical human influence on the original message: musicians become portals allowing the metaphysical world of the ideas to enter ours; the more advanced the skills of the musician, the easier musical ideas can flow through him, almost unaltered, and therefore unorganized in a coherent structure. In other words: not translated in a universally understandable language like a structured song can be.
The role of the composer in this kind of process is brought to its original etymologic meaning: some one who puts together (from the Latin: componere, formed by cum: “with” and ponere: “to put”) different musical parts, giving a sense of whole to fragments otherwise sounding random, even though they are based on the same harmony and rhythm.
Music stands as a description of sensations, emotions and feelings that rule behaviours and situations, just as science stands as a description of the physical and chemical laws that rule life on earth.
They both are a human try to interpret reality and translate into a comprehensible code.
released May 6, 2011
Alessandro Garau: Drums, Percussions, Roland SH09, Electribe ER-1 Drum machine, Scratch, KaosPad
Francesco Cassino: Guitar, Guitar fx tracks 4, 5, 6
Wojtek Makowsky: Guitar, Guitar fx tracks 1, 2, 3, 5
Zack Dye: Bass
Jack Haynes: Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet
Artwork: Andy C.